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He Will Meet Us There

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely (desolate) places and prayed. - Luke 5:16

As we enter the Christmas season full-force, I find myself fighting it more than usual. The get-togethers, the food, the presents, the endless shopping and planning, the excited kids…I’m struggling to be in a festive mood this year. And yet here it is (ready or not) and I find myself just going through the motions.

My oldest son is not living in our home right now. My heart is heavy and often filled with anxiety about the difficulty of that statement. And I think of all the people I know and love who also have heavy burdens they carry into the holiday season…death of a loved one, disease, cancer, children who are breaking their parents’ hearts, marriage struggles, bitterness, injuries, family problems… the list goes on and on. And those I don’t know all over the world who walk around with broken hearts and bodies. If I dwell on these things my soul aches and I can quickly be filled with despair. I often want to withdraw, retreat, and back away from it all. Do you ever have seasons where you just want to go hide somewhere, to separate yourself from everything because it’s too much? I know I do!

And today I felt Jesus whisper to my heart, “Then go ahead. It’s okay. I will meet you there.”

I was reminded of the verse in Luke that says the Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and met with His Father. Jesus actually sought out lonely places, when things just got to be too much. I love that. I need to do more of that, of being still, and knowing He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

Christmas doesn’t have to be a rat race. Yes, it will be some of the time because I have five kids. But…I can also have those times when I withdraw to lonely places with my Savior. I think of a desert, a wasteland, desolate, no life. He meets me there any time I ask Him to come, and breaths new life into me. I find soul rest with Jesus when I am still, and often silent. And when I have met with Him recently, He reminds me of what this season is truly about…

And in His presence, I find grace, healing, comfort, rest, and a renewed awareness of what He gave for us all. Jesus came down to earth as a baby, fully God and fully man. He suffered and He gave everything for us on the cross. Everything. When we stop and get still and truly meditate on His love for us, there is no other response except deep joy and thanksgiving. Once again my focus is shifted back where it belongs, which is on Him.

I’m reading “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp and I love this quote from her:

“The answer to deep anxiety is the deep adoration of God. And the greatest gift we can give our great God is to let His love make us glad.”(1)

Let His love make us glad.

Let His love bring peace and comfort to those broken places no one else can touch or ever sees.

Only He can bring joy to those kind of places and times in our life.

So go ahead. Withdraw for a little while. Go hide. He will find you. He will meet you there.

And the joy of His presence will transform you, and His love will make you glad.

Immanuel, you really are “God with us.” You are the only one who can make me glad when my heart is so heavy. I praise you for showing us that kind of love all of the time. I praise you for Christmas. I praise you for the cross. I praise you for the endless grace you show us every day. Amen.



Source:
(1) - Voskamp, Ann. The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2013, pg. 14.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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