How does this time of year affect your heart? Personally, I find I have a love/hate relationship with the holiday season. As you know, life can be incredibly good and brutally hard. This time of year has a way of exposing both the loss I feel and the ache within to find lasting peace, joy and life.
There is the anticipation of good things to come and the joy of introducing my young children to the wonder of Christmas. But, then reality hits: someone has to create those “good things to come” and wonder filled moments…and there’s never enough time or money!
Lastly, there’s the memory and nostalgia of “the good ol’ days” and wondering if things will ever be the same. I’m sure you know the feeling: the despair of unmet longings and desires that seem further out of reach with each passing year. It usually leaves me wondering:
“What is the point of all THIS? What is this REALLY about?”
Can you relate?
It was Jesus who said, “I have come to seek and save what has been lost”. I wonder, have you ever stopped to consider, in your own life: What has been lost? What am I actually searching for? And why can’t I seem to find it?
These aren’t questions I enjoy engaging with. In fact, it’s usually easier this time of year to just pretend everything is OK. To follow the world’s obsession to “do more” by burying myself with busyness and preparations. Yet, the longing for something deeper won’t go away…
Thankfully, God is disrupting my crazy cycle by revealing this: if I truly want to discover the treasure of Christmas this year, then I need to stop doing the things that I’ve always done and ask some questions. I need to understand what I was created for, what has been lost and how Jesus can give it back to me.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: “He…has set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
We must understand this: you and I were created for life! That insatiable longing and ache you feel this time of year? It’s for life! Unending, glorious, life. It’s what you were created for! But, and I’m sure you’ve noticed, that’s no longer the story we find ourselves living in.
The glorious life and freedom we were created for, the unbroken fellowship with our Father, and the creative authority God intended for us to have over the earth…it’s all been lost. We lost it in Eden and it has haunted us ever since. For eons, we have been trying in vain to stuff finite things into an infinite void….a void that can only be filled by the unending life and love we were created to enjoy.
This is why we MUST discover the treasure of Christmas, the treasure of the Gospel…for it is the secret to all of LIFE. And not only discover it, but also deeply receive it. For if we truly want to experience the treasure of Christmas this year, then we must be willing to experience it and enjoy it in a new way.
So, instead of striving harder this year and rather than trying to make Christmas bigger, better and more ____ (fill in the blank). What if instead you took 15 minutes each morning and asked God:
“What have I lost that You want to give back to me this Christmas? What do You want to heal and restore in my life today?”
If you make it through those questions and want more, then ask Him:
“What do You want me to let go of today? What do You want me to receive from You today?”
These are healing questions to ask. Holy questions. Please, don’t rush them…remain in them. Dig for the answers, for the treasure lies within. The answers allow me to not only turn from exhaustion, brokenness and sin, but also to embrace the life and rest my Father longs for me to enjoy.
It’s only in receiving life from our Father that we can offer it to others…and my friends, isn’t that what this season is truly about? Will you join me in my quest to discover the treasure of Christmas this year?
On behalf of the Reclaim team I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, it’s such a joy to experience and advance the Kingdom with you!
Because of love,