I wasn’t ready for Christmas, despite every good intention, a beautiful book list, devotions to dive into and expectations high during Advent.
Presents were wrapped, all was ready on the surface, family had arrived and my husband had the catering in hand.
I was as rested as I could be and not as flat out with fatigue as I often am as Christmas arrives.
Plenty of reasons for rejoicing yet my heart felt strangely weighed down.
All I seemed to be left with after a period of extra busyness was anxiety and stress. Maybe you can relate?
My Advent preparations had been good, though somehow I had lost sight of their purpose as I lost myself instead in worry and weariness.
I also wasn’t ready for Christ to speak to me on Christmas Eve in the sadness of feeling unprepared for Him. To offer solace and reassurance that it’s not about my/our efforts at all but about His.
As the great I AM, Jesus is always with us, always present, always close to hurting hearts.
He sees the way we wrangle to squeeze Just One More Thing in until we nearly squeeze Him out, and how we are desperate to make something big out of our smallness.
He witnesses our struggles for perfectionism and answers with His grace.
Jesus whispered words of comfort as I sat on the bed with tears in my eyes, sorrowing once again over how flawed I am, how impossible it is to feel my way into worship (or worth-ship) most of the time.
He met me in my weariness. He strengthened me in my weakness.
He spoke in the silent places and gifted me with the glowing fire of His love.
Reminded me how He came for those who were needy. How His gift to us is Presence and our gift back to Him is simply sharing all of our lives, hearts and minds with Him.
Yes, especially the messiness, the muddles, the sadness, confusion and pain.
And now? We sit between Nativity and New Year, pause in the gap to catch our breath.
Depleted, satiated and weary, we wait in the interim to rouse ourselves for another celebration to begin.
It’s a time to reflect and wonder anew about opportunities ahead. But, instead of seeing it as Christmas being all over for another year, how about considering: Isn’t this the best bit as we bask in the afterglow of God’s great Love come down?
Truly believe we already are pre-approved and loved beyond measure.
Rest grateful in those arms which threw stars into space, brought life to everything and sustain us in their safe embrace.
Be comforted by the voice of One who soothes fretful hearts, brings the joy and peace of His Presence back to lives made dull by distance.
Relax to know Jesus can be celebrated all year round in our hearts and lives. He isn’t just for Christmas.
Because He is right here, right now ~ omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Incarnate God.
His Light shines in every dark circumstance and place.
His grace is new every morning.
He is always ready to receive us even when we feel ill-prepared to receive Him. To pour His Love-light upon souls longing for a touch from His hands. All we need to do is ask, and Jesus will respond.