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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Favorite Last Christmas Memory

Even though I didn't get around to expressing it until March of this year, this is my favorite memory of last Christmas. I was overwhelmed and undone by love...

I often wonder what it would be like for God to walk among my family. My people.

Would He be pleased? Would He see His commands carried out? Would He pierce our hearts with just one glance deciphering our hidden motives and secret ambitions? Would we still be so prone to wander or so frustrated with our own inadequacies?

Romans says this, "For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." Romans 8:20-21

God allows us to be slaves to our sin so that we will appreciate our freedom. Somehow being a slave to sin puts me in a position to cry out to God realizing my need and acknowledging that He is...the one true God...my own one true God. Knowing my weaknesses up close and personal disgusts me and drives me to the foot of the cross. All at once I see my deep need for Someone to rescue me from myself and the utter destruction I cause in the wake of my life and I feel deep grief in the recesses of my soul for how I've caused One so perfect, so honorable, so beautiful to suffer and die. How my own mess can cause hurt and pain for so many others.

I feel the feeling I feel at Christmas when I receive a gift I don't really deserve. When someone I haven't appreciated near enough does something, gives something way larger than I anticipated. Kind of like being showered with gifts at a place I showed up empty handed. I've felt it. It's literally overwhelming.

This past Christmas, which I haven't blogged much about due to busy, crazy, unfocused living, I showed up at my parents' home with no gifts. No gifts for my nephews and niece. No gifts for my dad or step mom. No gifts. No bottle of wine. No box of candy. No cookies. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Palmer had just had surgery. We'd been coming and going at both ends. The stores closed on Christmas Eve before we'd even had a chance to purchase everything on our list for our kids. A crazy Christmas to say the least. Not that I want them to think it's all about the gifts they get. But I do want to shower them with love, overwhelm them with my love for them, so that just maybe they can get a glimpse of God's great love for them, His giving in overwhelming proportions. I got that this past Christmas. I felt it. Saw it with my own eyes.

Let me be clear, my parents did not expect anything from us. They understood our situation. They just wanted to spend time with their kids. My family's presence was all they desired. When my parents began passing out gifts, I received so many, my kids received so many, I had to leave the room and cry. I did not deserve, nor did I expect the material blessings I was given.

As I sat there weeping, I saw something very clear. That's what God thinks about me. He doesn't even expect anything but my presence. He's so gladly given me more than I could ever repay. Just because he wants to be with His kids.

It's in His presence that He can shower me with gifts, freedoms, deliverance. In His presence I am transformed. The change happens as He walks among us.


So He can be mine and I can be His.

As if that wasn't enough, He freed me from my shame over being so undeserving. He teaches me a better way of life and sets me in a new place so I become free to live it.

I know the answer to my own question. God is pleased if I'm in His presence. He is most pleased when He is walking among us. That's it. So simple. And, again, it's just like with my parents, when they are pleased with me, I walk, forward, moving on with my head held high knowing they are pleased.

There is no shame in that. No shame in failing as long as it's in His presence.

And that, my friends, causes me to stand. Stand tall. To walk taller. Move ahead. Stand higher. And in turn, dig deeper. Dig deeply to seek my God.

"I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people...I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high." Leviticus 26:12-13b

1 comment:

Joyful said...

Lisa, this morning I read in my devotions, "For you are a slave to whatever controls you." So often I'm a slave to fear, anxiety, worry and sin instead of allowing the Lord to control my life, and in that find true freedom.

How your writing here has touched me. "That's what God thinks about me. He doesn't even expect anything but my presence. He's so gladly given me more than I could ever repay. Just because he wants to be with His kids."

Oh, to let that truth just pour over me. I always find Christmas so stressful. I'm so busy 'doing', but Jesus wants me 'being'.

"God is pleased if I'm in His presence".

I'm going to keep reminding myself of that truth today. Thank you my friend.

May you and yours have a blessed Christmas.