As school is slowly winding down + the rest from Thanksgiving is wearing thin on our restless hearts yearning for the next break, our minds are starting to shift to the upcoming holiday: Christmas. Hearing the word brings glee + excitement, but I want to put focus on the main part of the word – the stem.
Pretty lights, trees, + presents get my attention every year, but these ingredients mix into a tempting appearance shifting my mindset from the truth. Every day we are focused on physical, material, + tangible things instead of the whole reason we are on this earth: Christ. Our minds are easily distracted from the One who created them, and set on our daily routines or challenges. We always somehow find a way (our way) to get the bills paid, gifts bought, or overcome obstacles. Every day we don’t realize the absolute need for God until we are at the breaking point. You know that point where you are on your knees and have finally come to the realization that you can’t do it on your own anymore? It’s true God uses those as turning points for us to look to Him and surrender, but we’re missing the point. It shouldn’t take misery for us to remember that Jesus is there for us, and it shouldn’t take a holiday to remember what Jesus did for us.
God calls us to love Him with a daily, hourly, minutely, secondly love. He wants our love for Him to overflow so much that it turns into an absolute necessity to survive. A necessity like how a deer pants for water–our souls should thirst for God. He wants us to WANT Him. He wants to captivate our hearts so our love for others stems from our love for Him. He places tests in our lives to see how we will handle them, and He may give you too much for you to handle only for you to realize He is the only one who can help you carry it.
But He wouldn’t have to do this–we wouldn’t have to suffer so much–if we would just fix our eyes on Him to begin with. God commands us to do this: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.” (Luke 10:27). If we truly loved Him the way He commands, our lives wouldn’t resemble the common “It’s going good until I can’t handle something so that’s when I clasp my hands and pray for help” scenario. He wants our very first thought to be of Him when we encounter trials AND when we don’t.
God sent His son–Christ–to die for our sins. This is the reason we celebrate Christmas. He is the very beginning of the word for Pete’s sake! So this holiday season, set your heart + mind on the whole reason for the season: Jesus coming to the world, to not only die for us, but to live as an example for the world to strive to become daily. However, along with the cliché Christian “reason for the season” motto, think about this: Christmas isn’t the only time to focus on Jesus. My prayer for you is to not only focus on Him this Christmas, but that you wouldn’t stop after December 25th.