“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold frankincense and myrrh.”
This past week has been so exciting-it’s the first week of December! That entails so many things-24/7 Christmas music, gifts being wrapped, the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family…all things that bring a lot of happiness in this house. But the one thing that has the MOST significance here is the start of Advent. Although Nora is still so young, I decided to start a new Advent tradition anyways. I made her an Advent tree that follows along with a little Christmas book that she got from my mom last year. Each day we read through a devotional, say a prayer and read a verse that corresponds with the ornament that we hang on the tree that night. Even though she doesn’t understand those precious verses from the Word just yet, it’s sweet to watch her flip through the pages of the book and place the ornament on the tree. I hope it’s a tradition that lasts and one that she looks forward to for years to come.
This past week has also been a busy one (aren’t they always busy weeks during the holidays?)-we have been bustling around between showings, trying to keep the house clean and warding off ear infections and colds. It has been trying at times-incredibly trying. And when life is trying, we can allow our emotions to take hold of our heart and our actions, and Satan uses that as a foothold. Oh boy, he got me this week. He got me good.
Let’s side step for a minute. When I was making Nora’s Advent tree, I came across a few verses talking about the wise men coming to visit baby Jesus. They came with great joy, anticipating the meeting of the Messiah Who’s coming they had heard of for so long. And when they saw Jesus, they fell down and worshiped him, knowing Who this small baby was, the Son of God. And they brought him gifts; some customary, some incredibly precious, to honor this small babe. Can you imagine for a moment….imagine knowing your going to meet the Savior, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah. WHAT DO YOU BRING AS A GIFT TO THE KING???
Rewind back to Satan using our inability to control our emotions as his foothold. I am sharing this from my heart, from the place in life that I am currently in. And I have one word for my heart right now: fear. For those of you who know me personally, or for those of you who follow along on my little measly corner of the internet, you know my story and the place my family and I are at in our lives. We are moving-to a completely different state, a totally different lifestyle and away from everything I know and am comfortable with. For the most part, I have been so excited and optimistic about this change. But friends, the past month has been nothing but scary. Like, drive around in the van with your husband and cry while devouring a bag of Sour Patch Kids and beef jerky scary (don’t judge me). This fear about moving and everything it entails has crept into my soul these past few weeks and it’s not fun. Satan has taken every opportunity to use my emotions and use them to battle against me and everything I know in my heart to be true; and I have been losing. And I am so tired of it. So why is it that whenever I try and deal with this fear on my own, my first instinct is to clutch my fear as tight as I can in my clenched up fists and hang on to it for dear life, when I KNOW that getting rid of it is going to be the only thing that saves me? Goodness, I am so human and so stubborn.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30 to, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Here Jesus is offering rest and relief from our deepest burdens. Today, my burden is my fear; fear of the unknown, not being able to sell our house, financial uncertainty, moving away from my family and our friends, leaving our house, when to expand our family, how to be a farmer’s wife and wondering how I can be strong for my family with all of these changes coming our way. I’m not sure what your fear is: a new job, handling of money, finding a spouse, making a big purchase, starting a family, trusting God with your children. The list is endless. And my repeated thought at the end of the day…. “Holy smokes. I. Can’t. Do. This. On. My. Own.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to get rid of this fear and give it away. It’s too big for me.
So this Christmas, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give my fear away. Earlier I asked you to imagine what you would bring as a gift to Jesus, the King of Kings, the God Who “has everything.” But what God really wants is your heart-every part of it, even the parts that you cringe at the most, the ugliest of the ugly. This Christmas, I’m giving a gift to Jesus; something no one else can give Him, something that He doesn’t already have this year. This year, Jesus is getting my fears for Christmas. I am standing here tonight, choosing to take my fears and lay them at the foot of the manger, and release everything that Satan is using to hold my heart captive. This year, I am choosing to embrace the hope, peace and wisdom that only my Jesus can give me. And I am giving him the gift of my fearful heart this year, and I will be anxiously waiting to see what He is going to do in my life because of it.