My dear friend Indira has mentioned to me several times how much she enjoyed my recent post on Simplifying Christmas. "Simplification is the word of the day!" she has said lately. Yesterday, however, she shared with me how some of the decisions involved in her simplification process have caused her stress.
Unfortunately, the decision making process that we have to put in motion once we take a step to simplify anything in our lives does involve a considerable amount of mental anguish and stress. The reason is because simplifying implies cutting; and cutting implies cutting off, which in turn means that something/someone is always left behind/cut off...Like the strands of hair left on the floor when we get a haircut...like the branches when we prune our bushes and trees...like our old friends when we move away...like our beloved when we can't be on two places at the same time, simplification inherently means sacrificing. And the decision of what/who to sacrifice is agonizing...The good news is that it usually balances out along the way. One person's sacrifice generally represents another person's gain, even if the final equation is not appreciated until further in the unseen future.
During the Christmas season we celebrate the advent of our Lord and Savior. We rejoice because a Son has been given unto us! That's humanity's biggest gain in the history of the world! On the flip side of that coin, though...a Father was left behind...knowing what the sacrifice involved.
God's plan is perfect in any and every way. Perfection doesn't mean, however, that it is without pain. The pain of sacrifice deeply pierces the soul. But in turn, the result of sacrificing is immeasurable gain.
The trick is to trust! As we pull out the shears or as we see the shears coming unto us, we must prayerfully move on to finish our task, trusting that the hand that guides the cutting is the very hand of God. And even if we don't get to see the results of the process on this shore of life; we can rest assured that one day we will understand the ins and outs of God's greatest simplification process. After all, pruning is what helps the tree bear fresher, more luscious and better fruit next season, right?
I know my friend is still very torn about the decisions she has had to make lately in order to simplify the life-events that are approaching. But I pray that she sees the gain behind each one of those sacrifices she is making and that the Lord speaks to her/us regarding His very own unfathomable sacrifice which brought us life.
For unto us a Child is born,