Whew! It has been a humdinger of a week. Many of us have been in a somber mood after the horrific San Bernardino shooting. Personally, the news reportings have been on the forefront of my mind. How then can we get back into the Christmas spirit?
For many of us, daily Scripture reading is one of the first things to be pitched out the window when life gets busy…or hard…or a tad confusing. After hearing reports of terrorism within the borders of our own country, we may be consumed with fear. We may be struggling with our faith as we try to wrap our minds around the sovereignty of our God. Why would such heinous acts be permitted? Where is God in the midst of all of this?
Scripture reading isn’t always easy. There. I said it. The cat has been let out of the bag. And if there is anyone out there who claims otherwise…c’mon, pull up a chair, I want to chat. Because the people I have met seem to struggle.
We struggle to find time.
We fight to find passion.
We wrestle with our own sin.
Regardless of how we may feel, I want to encourage you to keep up the fight. I am here for you. I know putting on the appearance of a super-Christian doesn’t always feel right. We may know what to say and stage a phony smile, and yet inwardly a battle is raging. Our feelings are lagging behind.
When life is a struggle, you can trudge on. In the dissonance with Jesus, you can deepen your intimacy with Him. You may not have all the answers or even be able to comprehend what is being said, but even then…you can ask Jesus questions. You can pray for the insight to come. Why?
Because Jesus gets you. He shares in your struggles and your fight against sin. He sees your insecurities and wants your identity to be secure and perfected in Him. He is for you, not against you. So go ahead and give up the fight. The battle is not yours to be fighting, for the victory has already been won.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
Because time spent with Him is always well spent. It’s okay to say no to some of the holiday festivities. Rather than getting stretched too thin, go ahead and pace yourself. You don’t need to buy a gift for everyone you know or grace your presence at every single party. When we overcommit, we wear down. We no longer can give Jesus the time and attention He so much deserves.
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Because we are to prepare Him room. Life gets busy. Our calendars fill up. Things don’t always go as we expect. We quickly forget about what it really important. And yet, after weeks like this one, let’s not allow the Enemy to succeed. God will bring about good. He makes us a promise of such. When Mary and Joseph were told that there was “no room in the inn”, how do you think they felt?
When we reflect on the original story of Christmas, it doesn’t look anything like the one we’ve made up. There were no Christmas decorations to hang or carols to be sung. No gifts to give or nasty fruitcake to regift. No Santa Claus or Christmas shows. No Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Nothing of the sort. The only thing we read about is that there was no room.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
When we reflect on Christmas of old, may we remember what it truly is about. A weary mother. A contemplative father. No place to lay their heads. A story without pomp and circumstance to suggest who this baby really is.
Had we not already read the ending of this incredible story..would we even recognize Him? In all honesty, this earthly depiction looks more like our homeless sleeping under a bridge than the entrance of a great and mighty king.
Will we get too busy and have no room left for Him in our inn? Will we try to pretty up the nativity scene rather than seeing it for what it really is? Will our hearts be ready to do whatever it is He asks of us?
Squeeze time in with Him. Because you can and He is totally worth it!
I would love to hear from you today…What helpful hints do you have for making time to be in God’s Word?