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The story goes that a grandma who loved Christmas always sent gifts to her grandkids who lived all across the country. One year, because of the busyness of the season, she made a decision not to send gifts. Instead, she planned to send each one a Christmas card along with a generous check, with the intent that they would be able to get exactly what they wanted.

When she opened her desk drawer the day after Christmas, she discovered, to her dismay, that she had forgotten to put any of the checks in the envelopes with the Christmas cards. Of course, she was not nearly as frustrated as her grandkids, who each had received only a Christmas card with these words penned inside: “Go buy your own stuff this year! Love, Granny”!

Part of the dilemma of life has to do with expectations! Expectations can be based on a number of things, ranging from past behavior to a hoped-for future. Too often, though, we focus on the physical (presents), rather than the spiritual (presence). When the hoped-for resolution doesn’t surface, we are often vulnerable to a rush of unplanned emotions.

Emotions can surge like a roller coaster; and even after an interesting and harrowing ride, they will empty you out at the same place where you started. Some of us will even stand in line for hours, just to “do it again.” I really believe that our ability to rise above the fray and not get entangled in the disappointments that surface from injustice, inequality and injury will place us in strategic situations to bring clarity, peace and hope!

All the grandkids were disappointed on Christmas when they opened up their cards. However, having to wait a few days until they finally received their checks from Granny stretched their Christmas out for nearly a week!

Have a great Christmas, and remember to put the check in the mail!

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation … I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
-Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

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By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.
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