Where are you today? Are you shopping for Christmas? In a cubicle counting down the hours? Caring for your little loves at home? Tending to a sick loved one in the hospital? And in the midst of that, where is your heart?
While I think we would all love for our hearts to be quietly enjoying Advent, preparing for the celebration of Christ’s coming, many of us may be in a place of anxiety with all that the holidays mean. Perhaps we feel that life is more than we can handle and that preparing for a busy Christmas season is simply too much.
Jesus came to us as Emmanuel, God with Us. But what does that mean for my day-to-day life? When my alarm goes off on Wednesday and it’s a struggle to rise to meet the day? Or when conflict and tension ties me in knots? The moments my heart feels so afraid of the future? Sometimes I think we imagine that God is only with us in our beautiful moments, when we dot our i’s and cross our t’s. When all is happiness and harmony. When our hearts are fully assured of the love God has for us in Christ.
But I don’t live there.
If I ever have the illusion that I have my life pretty well figured out, I quickly meet a broken edge that reminds me of my own need and that of the people and world around me. In my best moments, perhaps I can almost see the glories of being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. But as a Christ-follower, do I dare to whisper that more often, I struggle to find His presence? What if I am honest in admitting that rather than living my life aware of the glories that are mine in Christ, many days, I make my bed in the depths? Does Jesus find me there?
Did you catch that? When we taste the glories of heaven that are ours in Christ, God is there. When we make our bed in the depths, God is there. On my best days, I have Jesus. On my worst days, I have Jesus.
Look now at these prophetic words about the coming of Jesus:
No matter the darkness we sit in, we can look to Jesus, the morning light who gives us light in our darkness. We have his presence. God is with us and for us. Romans chapter 8 tells us that since God the Father gave us His Son Jesus, he can’t help but care for us in every other way. We also read there that nothing we face can separate us from His love. Emmanuel—God with Us—no matter where we are. His love is ours no matter the storm or battle or darkness in which we find ourselves.
What changes in your heart when you realize that even when you make your bed in the depths, Jesus is with you? That He will never leave you? How can you take that love that meets you in your darkness to your neighbor in their darkness? How can you bring the presence and light of Jesus to the hurting around you this Christmas season?
Allie loves exploring the Colorado mountains. She just said I do to forever with her handsome husband. When she's not having an adventure with him, she loves building community with her girlfriends at a cozy coffee shop over a chai latte.