Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room….
When our Lord came to earth on that first Christmas night, He came to us freely, with nothing expected in return. He came to us with no fanfare, bells or whistles. He came bearing gifts of hope and joy, salvation, mercy and grace; things we don’t deserve, yet given to us anyway.
As we enter the weekend before Christmas, my heart’s desire is to be prepared to receive all that He has to offer, but to be completely honest, I’ve felt a little down over the last few days. The world’s view of Christmas comes with what I like to call Christmas expectations, and right now it seems as though I’m not quite able to measure up.
I feel inadequate and ill prepared, mentally overcharged, yet very emotionally under-equipped. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say I’m not the only one who feels this way. I really don’t have an explanation for it, other than to say I’m trying hard to open my heart to the only One who can give me exactly what I need, in order to remove the things that I don’t.
God says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NLT)
That’s exactly what the wise men did when they set out to Bethlehem to search for the Christ child. Guided by a star in the east, they arrived in Bethlehem to find the place where the child resided. (Matthew 2:8-9)
“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10, 11 NLT
Just like the wise men, when we take the initiative to seek, He will always make Himself readily available to be found. Only by searching our hearts can we find and remove the areas competing for His attention. By choosing to worship Him, we discover He is the only One capable of fulfilling those high expectations.
I want this Christmas to be about seeking and finding, but at the same time, I want to make sure that I don’t get so wrapped up in Christmas I miss the present contained inside. I don’t want to get so close to everything Christmas has to offer, yet miss the most important part. This year as we actively search for Him, let’s prepare our hearts to receive, so that they will become so full we can’t help but spill over into the hearts of others.
He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove…the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.
The wonders of His love are what we need most this year. When we feel ourselves becoming overwhelmed with those high expectations, may we remember that wise men still seek Him, and by choosing to do just that, we will find that measuring up is no longer necessary. Instead, we simply lean in to all He has to offer, and what He has to offer is always more than enough.
What are some ways you’ve been able to drown out the noise in order to seek Him more clearly this year? Please leave your reply in the comments below.
Photos © Salina T Gibson
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