Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Cardboard Box


Guest Post By Beth Webb Hart

Every December 31st after the gloomy task of taking the ornaments and lights off of the tree, we pack them away in a large, tattered cardboard box. What leavens the moment is a simple tradition we’ve practiced for the last eight years: writing down the prayer requests for the coming year on the outside of the box.

I pull out a Sharpy pen, find a spot on the cardboard surface, write the new year down and everyone in our family of four discusses our hopes, needs and desires for the coming twelve months. We each get a turn to write something, and we all must agree on each of the requests. We usually come up with five or six, and they range from the specific (May Daddy make tenure – 2003 or May God give us a new child this year – 2007) to the grandiose (May we have a new house AND a puppy dog – 2010) to the general (May we remain in good health – 2009).

Then we lift each request up in prayer, ask God’s will to be done and finally hand the box over to my husband who carts it up the rickety attic ladder, folds the ladder up and snaps the ceiling door closed. We all take a deep breath as we walk back down the hallway and into our home which doesn’t seem quite so magical without the tree and the twinkling lights and the expectations of the Christmas season.

However, as we beat back the January blues we remind ourselves that Christ has been born, that He has put both evil and its most wicked sidekick- death – in their place and that He has redeemed us and promised us new life which we have stepped into and will remain in for eternity.

This becomes all the more clear when, eleven months later, giddy with bellies full of hot chocolate and a new tree in the stand, we cart the old cardboard box back down the rickety ladder and before tearing it open, read over the prayer requests of the last year, circling those he answered and starring those He either said “no” or “not yet” to.

It is a moment of pure joy and our Lord’s sovereignty over all the little details of our lives becomes abundantly clear. No, we didn’t get the new house and the new puppy this year, but we did get a new baby, we did become tenured and we remained in good health. More often than not, the answer is “yes”, and it has come about in a way far beyond our wildest imaginings or our feeble attempts at orchestrating the direction of our lives. Thanks be to God for His Almighty provision and, more importantly, for His love for all of mankind!

This article first appeared on She Reads and is reprinted here by permission.

No comments: