Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
Who knows what a peanut auction is? I attended my first with Mom at her senior retirement village. Gift items lined the tables—plants, blankets, candles, packages of biscotti, gaily wrapped toiletry packages—and each participant received a bag of twelve peanuts, shells on. That particular day, a well-behaved black poodle and I were the only guests. The auctioneer did a promo spiel on each item when she held it up, and we would bid on it. We paid with peanuts.
It was lots of fun. I had my eye on a Christmas mug and a puzzle. One man loved to bid but didn’t seem interested in winning anything. His fun was getting the bids higher. The cozy blankets were a big hit, pushing up to eight or nine peanuts. I saved my peanuts to bid on the coffee mug and won it. The others may have decided it wasn’t worth it when I wouldn’t put my hand down, and Mom shared her peanuts
But it was exactly what I wanted. An oversized mug with JOY spelled out in black and white checks, a festive poinsettia, and winter greenery. A sweet reminder of why we celebrate Christmas.
Does anyone else besides me have trouble maintaining a joyful attitude? Jesus came so we could have joy in his presence every day, not just for a few days out of the year. God sent Him so we would know that He is Emmanuel—God with us. Prophecy foretold it in dozens of different ways. And just because we get busy and forget doesn’t mean it’s not pertinent to our lives.
The joy He came to bring means I can relax instead of getting frustrated when the fridge fan goes out and food spoils.
It means I don’t have to get worked up when a favorite grandchild tests me. (Each grandchild is my favorite, but they’re still human.)
Joy means my light doesn’t have to dim even as the world grows darker. It only makes the light shine brighter.
What brings you joy? I love to read good books. I’m very thankful for my husband, my kids, and my grandkids. I’m happy I still have my mama, and I adore her “special” friend. I’m thrilled that at this point in my life I get to write…and write…and write.
Your list doesn’t have to look like mine. My husband can spend hours in his shop, measuring, cutting, and creating wood projects. I wouldn’t have the vaguest idea where to start. We’re all different.
Each of us is unique, but we’re all fashioned by the same loving God who knows us intimately. There’s no hiding from Him. Scripture says that man looks at outward appearances, but God sees the heart. (I Samuel 16:7) He knows our hopes, our dreams, and every little thing about us.
That said, it’s not worth being at odds with our Creator. It really doesn’t matter how excellent we think our reasons are for being mad at Him. He’s still going to have the last word, whether we believe it or not. But without Him, we have no lasting joy or peace.
As the day approaches, take a moment to reflect on the gift of Christmas. The reason we celebrate. The reason for our joy. Scripture says it best:
“For unto us a child is born. Unto us a child is given. And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of his government…To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
No amount of peanuts will cover that kind of gift.