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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



It has been another morning where more things went wrong than right: a different one of our four dogs left me a present this morning. The replacement of the replacement fridge arrives today, let's hope it fits through the small doors of our old log home. The resistance on my exercise bike wasn't working this morning, no idea why. And my favorite pair of earrings broke. You get the picture. Life is messy and frustrating.

So often we hold onto the negative experiences in our lives and let them steal our joy. We can allow a bad morning to affect the rest of our day. Instead of shining the light of Christ on those we meet, we grumble about all of the things going wrong in our lives.

Today we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist because John is the messenger to the world to prepare the way. He is the precursor to the arrival of Christ. John leapt with joy in his mother's womb at the presence of Christ.

God already knew the challenges I would face today. He allows the grit in our lives. But it is how we use the grit that matters. Grit can erode rock formations; in an oyster grit creates a pearl. Grit can be used to polish a knife blade or sand down a rough edge. We can allow the grit and frustrations of this life to erode our joy, or we can use grit in our lives to smooth out our imperfections and creating in us a pure heart. When we unite our suffering, frustrations, and grit to the Cross, we can leap for joy at knowing He is present with us in our hardships.

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