"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you are all having a blessed time with your family and friends and remembering to keep Christ at the center. It’s CHRISTmas, after all!
I don’t know if it’s just me, but the last couple weeks didn’t really feel that Christmas-y as the years before. It didn’t seem like the holiday season I normally love and hope for. I’m always excited for that feeling I get when listening to Christmas music, setting up decorations, and of course, Christmas morning.
But the feeling never came. (And, now that I think about it, I was wrongly putting that feeling in front of everything else, and that that happy feeling was not the most important thing about Christmas!) Instead, I felt weighed down, like I had forgotten something and couldn’t remember what. I went through my lists of presents for my family over and over, trying to find what I’d supposedly forgotten to buy. I decided I’d get a little extra something for my mom and, oh, maybe my sister too. But I still felt un-Christmas-y. Maybe it was the weird weather. Hot, cold, roasting hot, freezing, rainy, hot, then cold again…but how could weather affect how I felt?
A few nights ago, I was again going through my list. I remember praying, “God, I don’t know what’s wrong…what have I forgotten to get for someone? What’s the perfect gift I need to get?” Suddenly an idea came to me. I needed to find myself again. I had gone down the wrong path, starting to get influenced by the wrong people. Maybe if I could get back to my old self, everything would be perfect!
So, the next day, I strove to be myself again. While this isn’t exactly wrong thinking- I did indeed need to get back on the right path- the feeling still didn’t come to me.
Last night, I was confused- maybe even a little desperate. What was wrong with me? I cried out to God, “I don’t know what it is! Am I forgetting something? Something is wrong, God…it just doesn’t feel right for Christmas.”
And this is what I felt Him say to me: “Emma, life doesn’t have to feel right for me to come down. Life does not have to feel right for me to love you. Life does not have to be right for me to die for you. Life does not need to feel right for me to be there for you…”
I think that right then I realized that Christmas is not all about feelings. If life were about feelings, everyone would be single and abandoned, without friends. And I cannot express in words how true those words the Lord spoke to me are! Even in the midst of darkness and sin, Jesus still came down as a baby for us. It’s not because we loved Him- we in fact did not- but that GOD loved us first. It wasn’t because we’ve got everything in control, because if we did we’d have no need for Him!
"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" ~ Mark 2:17
Jesus came because He cared and loved about us. He knew we were broken, sinful, and selfish people. He came so that we could have a relationship with God, so that we could be forgiven. No, life was certainly not right and perfect down on earth. But God still loves us, and He will never stop. Jesus came so that we could live for Him, so that we could live in a whole new way.
This holiday season, don’t forget that GOD will always be with you- even when things don’t feel right and aren’t right. He’s got a PERFECT PLAN for you and He only wants what’s best for you!
And along with remembering that God’s got you even when things don’t feel right, my prayer for y'all is that you would deny yourself and take up your cross, that you would serve others (all for God’s glory!) even when everyone else is just caring about themselves and their new gifts. Be different for Christ. Shine for Christ. Live for Christ. And never forget that it doesn’t matter if life feels right or not- God still loves you.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."