Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hunting for "Christmas Spirit"


Merry Christmas Eve! I don't know if you are anything like me, but I had to look back on this year with wide eyes. This year has been HARD, y'all. So many things have happened for our family--job hunting, health issues, working on relationships, school, volunteering, deaths, beginning new friendships...I actually can't believe it is Christmas already. 
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 Truth be told, entering Christmas season was challenging for our family. Not to mention coming right off of the...uh...swarm of election emotions. Honestly, there were a few times I cringed when I thought about Christmas approaching. NOT because I wasn't excited to celebrate Christ, but because I was looking around as people were backbiting, tearing one another down, and "unfriending"--all the while preparing to sing about "goodwill toward men" and "peace on earth"....I really didn't want to "pretend", because it didn't make SENSE. It wasn't the truth. At one point, we were so out of sorts that three of us girls were driving (being really goofy) around the Costco parking lot "hunting for the Christmas Spirit". Needless to say, we couldn't "find" it and were left laughing (and a bit dizzy!). ;)

Still, in the back of my mind this month, I've been wrestling with these questions.

Lord, how can we truly have peace when there IS no peace in our world? How can I show others the Hope I've found when even I'M struggling to have Hope? How can we cling to Joy when people have no joy? How can we rest in Your arms when it feels like we're drowning in the chaos, pride and fear of man? How can we celebrate Your birth when we are wrestling with such discouragement? How do we, as believers, show "the Christmas Spirit" of Joy?



And one of the most reassuring, awesome things I have learned about God as my Father is the fact that He CAN handle our tough questions. He can handle us. :)


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I was really praying and crying out to the Lord for help, when He oh so sweetly reminded me of the Truth. The Truth is that despite how we feel right now--we CAN sing about the birth of a Baby, we CAN rejoice in the coming of a Child, we CAN celebrate this small form because He didn't STAY a baby. For His birth wasn't ONLY the miracle of a new life; it was the beginning of a craved Hope. He IS the Messiah. OUR Messiah. HE IS the long awaited Christ. OUR long-awaited Christ. HE IS the one in whom "nations would (and CAN) place their HOPE" (Matthew 12:21). He is the One in whom WE can place our hope. In HIM is forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14). In fact, He came TO save us from our sins--pride, fear, lust, greed, jealousy, lewdness, bitterness, adultery, witchcraft, and every thing that stands in opposition to a Holy, pure God (Matthew 1:21). He came to bear our burdens (Ps. 69:19). He IS our all in all...in the tiniest, most unassuming gift wrapping. A little, innocent child.


That's just like Christ. Humble. Unassuming. Yet SO powerful, SO true, SO unwavering, SO trustworthy, SO incredible. So very pure.

Tonight as you prepare to celebrate Jesus tomorrow and if you are finding your "Christmas spirit" lacking, just remember this. We don't just celebrate a birthday. We celebrate the birth of Hope. We celebrate the gates of Heaven being opened up to us in a NEW, glorious Way. He IS the promise of eternal life (Romans 6:23). He IS the Redeemer through whom we have been adopted as Children of God--inheritors of a Kingdom of Light (Gal 4:4-5). We celebrate the One who IS Himself JOY. We celebrate the One who IS our Peace, because no one can take Him away from us (Romans 8:31-39), Through Him, we can be freed from our burdens, our fears and our sins. Through one small bundle, so very long ago.

And in THAT, my friends, is every single reason to rest, rejoice and WORSHIP. No matter what, no matter where.

Rejoicing in Him!

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