It’s that time of year again! Hot chocolate, sweaters, wrapping paper, and hopefully some snow, but you never know in Arkansas!
Christmas is just a few weeks away, and to be honest, that thought creates some tension inside of me as I ponder what gifts to buy for my family. I really enjoy getting presents for some family members, but it’s a little challenging when trying to figure out what to get for my crazy Uncle Joe! (Just kidding! I don’t have an uncle named Joe). It’s very challenging when there’s a strained relationship in the mix. In seasons like this, we can easily feel overwhelmed.
I know some of you are really excited about this season, and yet others might be struggling. Here is what I want you to know: God wants to be with us in both of those places.
Do you remember the song we sing around this time called, “O Come, O Come, Immanuel?” The word, “Immanuel” actually means “God with us.” It important that we know that in our lives—in the highs and the lows—Jesus came from heaven to earth to be with YOU!
The Lord Almighty can divvy out incredible peace, but is He your Lord?
Is He Lord of all?
Christians often compartmentalize their faith, like categorical atheism
. What I mean by this is that we choose certain parts of our lives that we just won’t let the Lord move into. It’s usually the areas where our lives have the most mess. We tend to say to God, “Hey, You can have this area of my life over here, but don’t mess with that stuff over there.”
There are a few reasons for that. Sometimes we just straight up say to God, “That’s my territory. I don’t want to give that up.” Maybe it’s a hidden sin or an addiction. Other times, there’s so much embarrassment attached to it that we don’t want to admit there is an issue. We fear, “What will happen when everybody finds out the mistakes of my past?” We think God or others will reject us if they discover the truth.
Let’s see what we can learn from Christmas.
Jesus was born in a dirty manger, a stable, and a mess.
I think it’s important to note that Jesus could have said “No” to that. If you were God, would you choose an animal shelter or a palace? I know what I would have chosen! So why would God take His most treasured possession and put it in a filthy, nasty environment?
Because the people who need Him the most wouldn’t have access to Him! They wouldn’t go to the palace, because they wouldn’t feel worthy enough.
I’m thankful that those who call on His name and believe in their hearts that Christ was raised from the dead will be saved. His heart has always been to reach and rescue you and me, no matter the cost. In fact, He truly paid the ultimate cost to save us, heal us, and set us free, especially in those areas we think are too messy for Him. But I can say with confidence, God can be trusted with the mess.
My desire is that you would find the peace and hope that you are looking for in this Christmas season! His name is Jesus.