Having recently moved from the low country of South Carolina to Northeast Ohio and being a lover of all things Frozen, my four year-old grand-daughter has been looking forward to snow. She arrived in June and thoroughly enjoyed playing out of doors throughout the mild Northeast summer. Then came the spectacular array of fall colors and raking, hopping into, and hiking through piles of leaves. Oh, the joy!
Yet, we live in an area of the United States where once the beauty of the fall colors passes, a general gloom sets in. No joke! I just looked online to verify. Our area ranks in the top ten cloudiest areas of our country.1 Perfect for candles, cozy fires, cups upon cups of hot chocolate, tea and coffee, curling up with a good book, snuggling in warm blankets, and so much more.
So yes, before the magical snows come, the clouds settle in. On one of the first such cloudy days, our sweet girl looked out from the big picture window into the great outdoors and declared:
“It looks like the inside of Eeyore’s mouth!”
In case you aren’t familiar with A.A. Milne’s beloved character, Eeyore is an old stuffed donkey and a special friend to the honey-loving bear, Winnie the Pooh. Unlike the cheerful bear, Eeyore carries with him a general sense of doom and gloom. Here’s an example direct from Disney:
Winnie the Pooh asks, “Lovely day, isn’t it?” And Eeyore responds in true Eeyore fashion: “Wish I could say yes, but I can’t.”2
Most everyone relates to Eeyore. Yet, that doesn’t mean we ought to go around being like Eeyore. Everyone experiences cloudy days and trials of various kinds. Yet, that doesn’t mean we have permission to behave like the inside of Eeyore’s mouth!
We have a choice.
In my country, we enjoy a holiday intended to remind us to give thanks and count our blessings, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving- a holiday that seems to directly lead us into the celebration of Christ’s birth- reminds me that no matter my circumstances, no matter that we live in the valley of the shadow of death, no matter the losses, no matter how cloudy, I have much for which to be thankful.
In Christ, I am rich.
Rich in love.
Rich in grace.
Rich in mercy.
Rich in abundant and eternal life.
Friend, when life looks like the inside of Eeyore’s mouth and presents the “gloomies,” and yes, even the holidays can present the “gloomies,” I need, and I mean, I need God’s Word. Through the Bible and through His Spirit, God reveals Himself. He shines His Light and His Light has a way of overcoming the darkness. There is joy in His Presence.
I invite you to join me, join Simply Bible, in knowing and enjoying God through His Word. This month we are featuring our Simply Bible Advent study. This study includes the classic New Testament scriptures that highlight the birth of Jesus. Just as we put up the same Christmas decorations year after year, we pull out the same verses to ponder how the Word became flesh and became our Living Hope. Daily study buddy videos can be found on YouTube. We encourage you to take time for you and Jesus.
I also invite you to register for our new study of James beginning in January. (I'm excited! And I can tell you that James will challenge us not to behave like the inside of Eeyore's mouth.) For this study, you will find opportunities to join live online groups or study independently. All the details are below.
Along with that, do you have a friend, experiencing the gloomies? Invite them to join you, too. We are meant to know and enjoy God with others. Nothing else comes close to keeping the gloomies away.
Thank you for being a part of Simply Bible. You truly encourage me to keep seeking after God through the Word and ultimately keep the gloomies at bay. I am grateful for you.
Wishing you all the joy of knowing our Savior this Thanksgiving and Advent season!
Thank You. Thank You that You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11) May we hunger and thirst for more of You and enjoy the Light of Your Presence.
Prepare your heart for Christmas!
Turn off the hustle and bustle of the season. Settle in with a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Just you and Jesus. Click here to get more details. (No small groups. No registration needed.) Purchase a book on Amazon and follow along on YouTube with daily study videos. Invite a friend to join you as you know and enjoy God this holiday season!
Join us for the study of James starting in January!
Whether it is meeting with a live online group or studying independently, walk through the book of James with us! James challenges believers to persevere and put faith into action. Learn to think, speak, and do the right next thing - just like Jesus. RSVP here to sign up for a group or to receive daily videos directly to your inbox. Groups start the week of January 9, 2023.