Our Christmas tree fell over last year three times. Ornaments were broken, pine needles were everywhere, it wasn’t pretty. Those falls combined with the amount of time it takes me to find a tree that is the perfect triangular shape, with no barren spots, and strung with lights just so, caused some marital discord and the decision was made to go faux this year. I thought this is great, all problems solved—the shape is right, it was already dressed with lights, no watering needed….not so fast, my friend!
You see, I am linear through and through. Symmetry is my friend and matching games are my favorite. Every year, this quirk is most obvious when I set out to decorate the tree. I want so badly to just be able to get artsy and hang ornaments and insert flowers in a random manner, but my brain just won’t let me get abstract. This year, it really got to me, to the point that the tree sat naked with only lights for two weeks.
I should point out here that my husband suggested that I call my friend, Lacie, who excels at these things, pretty early on in the game. But I was determined to do it myself, determined for two weeks, while the tree sat naked.
Finally, the knowledge that we were expecting the entire church to come over for our annual Christmas Open House lit a fire, forced a swallowing of the pride and just as my husband had suggested in the beginning, I called in Lacie as a reinforcement. As she had offered to do in the beginning, Lacie came over and two hours later, I had a gorgeous tree and my anxiety had passed. For two weeks I waited and sweated over a tree that was fixed in two hours.
How many times have I done the same thing in my relationship with God?
He is there, always waiting for me to approach and talk to Him about problems, conflicts, decisions, the desires of my heart, but I want to do it on my own. Just as Lacie had offered in the beginning to help with the tree, He offers to help me on a daily basis. I should be approaching Him first, not calling on Him as a last resort. The Bible says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB) Seek first–not after you have tried and failed, not if no one else can give you any better advice, not if all else fails, but rather so all else won't fail.
I'm thankful for friends who are willing to help and to my husband for not telling me “I told you so,” but I'm most thankful that Christ waits patiently for me to put Him first. And thankful that He uses the everyday, like a naked, asymmetrical Christmas tree, to remind me that I can do nothing on my own, but “all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NASB)