Champagne Problems

By JMathis

It’s that time of year where I’m blowing the dust off of my holiday cookbooks, putting on my army fatigues and war-paint, and getting ready for the Thanksgiving week cook-a-thon.

Do I want to go funky or traditional this year? Challenge my diners, or, give into their plebian whims? Maple-glazed sweet potatoes with tender chunks of pineapple and apricots?  Or, the classic casserole option that everyone loves to eat, but brings tears to my eyes from a culinary perspective: sweet potato mush meets indiscernible coating of marshmallow fluff and caramelized brown sugar?

What dilemmas.

As my husband tells me all of the time: “You and your champagne problems…”

Me and my champagne problems.

Sadly, those champagne problems threaten to plague me throughout this week, until I collapse into my bed on Thanksgiving night.

Meanwhile, my friend is hours away from filing divorce; another friend just miscarried her baby; and yet another friend lost her job last week.

Ugh. Yes, it has been one of those weeks. One of those weeks where it appears that the enemy has won.

So what I am to do with my champagne problems in light of the realities and hardships that swirl around me? Quit cooking? Keep cooking and act oblivious?

While the Bible doesn’t give me clear directive over whether I should quit preparing my feast, Ephesians 1:16 helps me to put my champagne problems into perspective this week:

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

This is a verse I have glossed over a million times, always thinking of it as one of those Christian platitudes that have very little meaning. For some reason, though, it gives me instruction today on what I should be doing this week–whether on my lunch break, while driving in my car, or even while making sweet potatoes.

Leigh: I want you to know that I thank God for you. I thank God for the way you make me laugh, the way you put me in my place, the way you always know how to center me. I pray that in the midst of your divorce, I will be the friend that you have always been to me. I pray healing for your heart, restoration for your soul, and for God’s warm embrace to shield you from pain.

Melanie: I thank God for bringing you into my life. Seeing your smile makes me joyful and always puts an extra spring into my step. I’m so grateful for the joy you have given me over the years, and I pray that it be returned to you a hundred-fold, even a thousand-fold. I pray that you experience strength in knowing that your baby is lovingly being cared for by her Heavenly Father.  

Danielle: Thank You, God, for my friend who always checks in on me. Rain or shine, you are a faithful friend who is loyal to the end. Lord, I haven’t always returned the favor, and so I ask You that You teach me to be a friend like Danielle. Teach me to reach out to her, while she is going through this difficult time. Build up her confidence and her faith, Lord, and help her to rise up from this setback even stronger, braver and wiser.

Ladies, take the time to really thank God for your friends this week. Encourage them, share with them, express your gratitude to them.  

Lift them up in prayer when you get overwhelmed with your champagne problems. Intercede for them and with them, so that their burdens are removed and cast far into the sea of God’s forgetfulness.

Today, may your champagne problems fall off like scales from your eyes, with true perspective and meaning in this week of Thanksgiving.

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