Jello to a Tree

“Should we do it?” Anna asked me. “Should we skip putting up the Thanksgiving decorations and dive right into Christmas?” I was wrestling with a 4-foot inflatable pumpkin when she asked, so it took me a moment to weigh the pros and cons of this monumental decision. Before I waded into the profound long-term consequences of my actions, I thought, are we really moving at such a rapid pace that we need to start cutting things like whole holidays out of our conversation?

Call me a Grinch, but maybe the already partially empty grocery store shelves, hefty gas price hikes, and Target playing Christmas music before I’ve finished my Halloween candy have increased the pace of my hustle. Everything seems to have quickened its step, and just like the new fancy grocery store in my neighborhood, everything is all shuffled around from what I knew, and now I have to get used to something different.  

As I was attempting to take my frazzled thoughts about dragging the Christmas tree down from the attic captive and making them obedient to Christ, I remembered something my friend Joye said to me just this week “Our God never moves. He is steadfast and unmovable.”

I knew at that moment that God was speaking to me. 

Joye is one of those people that you know God must love best. If the Beatitudes wore a tee-shirt, it would have Joye’s face on it. She’s kind, humble, sweet, patient, and she loves and serves the Lord like no one I have ever seen. So, when Joye told me about a time when she was distant from God in her early 20s, I listened. The simple truth to her story was that if you feel distant from God, it’s because you moved.

I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6 

Our God never changes and is always steadfast. In fact, His steadfastness is such a strong quality that the Bible mentions it 132 times!

‘Steadfast’ in Hebrew means: aman – To be firm, faithful, true, to trust; have belief; to believe. This word indicates that a subject is lasting or enduring. Also, it signifies being firm or trustworthy.

‘Steadfast’ in Greek means: bebaios – Immovable. Constant, stable, fixed, steady, firm.

Did the guys who wrote the Bible in Greek and Hebrew know something different than we do? Or were they just as much of a hot mess as us at times and needed that reminder too?

So how do we get so distant so fast? 

Why do we rush around this time of year buying this, doing that, going here and there as if we do not have a faithful, certain, immovable Father giving us wisdom, joy, and true peace? The world has gotten pretty savvy, convincing us through 6″ rectangular screens that selfish is better than selfless, control is better than submission, and our plan is better than His plan. 

But the veil has been lifted! We know the truth. We serve a God who does not change, and even when I feel like I’m trying to nail jello to a tree most of my days, He is still the Tree. 

Now we know! We got it! Until we forget it again and start grappling with inflatable pumpkins, hauling down Christmas trees, and grumbling at the price of such and such. I’m glad we get to do this together. I’ll keep reminding you of God’s steadfastness. Will you help me remember too? 

If this resonates with you, please share how in the comments. We are all in this together!

In His service and at yours!

~Shawn

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

4 thoughts on “Jello to a Tree

  1. There’s nothing wrong with planning and thinking ahead, BUT, never lose sight of the day you are living in. He gave it to us so that we may fil it with joy, wonder, and few complicated things, but mostly He gave us each the day we live in to be used and enjoyed.

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  2. 2 Cor 10:4-5…. I don’t have too much trouble remembering God is steadfast and never leaves me. I do however tends to forget to focus on him in EVERY situation. That is why lately I have been focused on the above verse you briefly mentioned and have been trying to take every thought captive to Christ.
    So did you put up the tree?

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  3. You are so right about Miss Joye! And you are even more right about our God. He is and always was. He is God of Adam, Noah, Jeremiah, Simeon, James, John, Judas, and me. Never changing. Magnificent, loving, awe inspiring. Love and serve Him this day and all the days to come.

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