Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Early in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I found myself discontent. I was distracted and wanting to find Jesus in the everyday small things, not just in the Christmas Eve service or Children's musical or the reading of the Christmas story from Scripture. I wanted to experience Christmas in a fresh way within my heart.
When you pray things like that, be prepared. God answers, and sometimes He answers loudly.
What I found as we left Thanksgiving and headed into the Christmas season was that all around me, people were hurting. I was initially overcome with the sadness around me. Truth be told, it's sometimes overwhelming to turn the tv on and see the destruction in our world. It's difficult to go to work and see lives that are wrecked by suffering and brokenness, rage and hurt. It's hard to go into stores and see anger in the faces of people as they go about their grocery shopping, unaware of the poison that is eating away at their lives. And so it was that I began my own Christmas season a bit frustrated.
But then, I was reading the story of Jesus's birth, and I was struck by the simplicity and the mangificence of the birth of Jesus. I saw it all in a different light somehow. I saw not only the miracle of a virgin birth, but the miracle of the redemption of souls. I saw with fresh eyes the magnitude of the perfect, sinless life of Jesus, all man yet all God, and how he made it possible for me and everyone to be reconciled and healed.
Here is fresh truth I've seen this season: People will get sick. Some will die; some will be healed. Pregnancies will be lost too soon. Children will make poor decisions that could impact them forever. Jobs will be lost. Promotions will be granted. Graduations will happen. Teams will win. Teams will lose. People will be fired for speaking their beliefs and convictions. People will be hurt by ugly words and slanderous tongues. Greed will overtake some. Others will search for significance in all the wrong places. Forgiveness will be sought by some, refused by others. Life will move quickly. Things will change, sometimes every day it seems.
But the same Jesus that came to earth that night in Bethlehem is the same today.
He is still Emmanuel, God with us.
He is still the Great I AM.
He is still enough.
Whatever life looks like for you, whether you celebrate what this past year has brought or you eagerly await the newness of 2014, Jesus remains. And He loves you deeply.
This is the truth of Christmas that brings me joy today and every day. May His peace embrace you today and always. I'd love to tell you more about my Jesus if you don't know him.
Merry Christmas to you!