for you

Whether you’re anticipating the best Christmas yet or you’re praying for perseverance to get through the next few days, this moment is for you.

This moment.

The moment God humbled himself to be born of a poor virgin woman in a feeding trough. His birth changes everything.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14

In Greek, the word used for dwelling in the original Gospel manuscript literally means to “pitch his tent.” This same word is used for tabernacle in the Old Testament, which represented God’s presence among the Israelites as they journeyed through the desert.

Jesus came into the world to pitch his tent beside you.

This rattles my soul. First, because I hate camping, so the thought of someone willing to pitch a tent for me is quite a gesture. Second, and more importantly, he came into the world to show me that he isn’t going anywhere. No matter what your present circumstances are, his tent is pitched in the thick of it with you.

If you’re desperately trying to stay centered on the real reason for the Christmas season, pause for a moment to consider this:

Jesus’ birth is for you. 

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In Christ’s birth, there is hope for the weary. Healing for the brokenhearted. Forgiveness for the sinner. Joy for the grieving. Purpose for the lost. Love for your heart.

If you don’t know how you’ve got here and you’re confused about where you’re going, you can find rest in the fact that He is not done with you yet. I repeat, He is not done with you yet.

He comes for you. He comes to rescue you, encounter you, and shine glory forth from his wounds through yours. Swaddle your Savior in cloths and hold him tenderly against your chest this Christmas. Listen to the cries of his soul longing to dwell in your presence. His love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on you.

The sweet little babe lying in the manger is for you. 

outer chaos, inner peace

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Picture yourself getting ready for a formal event with all your best girl friends. You gather hours before you need to leave to allow for spontaneous dance parties, light snacking, and welcomed distractions. Once you’re ready to go, you step outside, and there’s violent gusts of wind tossing your hair like crashing waves. Suddenly, your perfectly curled hair looks like a tornado hit, and the delightful bliss cultivated for the past three hours turns into frustration, ironic laughter, and possibly a couple of tears.

Such is life, ladies.

On a spiritual level, the same circumstance occurs. Morning devotions, daily prayer, Bible study, mass, and occasional retreats help cultivate a healthy relationship with Jesus. However, we live in an imperfect world that doesn’t block the gusts of wind from steering us off course.

Sometimes it feels like right when I find peace, chaos strikes all around me. At first, I cling to those spiritual habits resisting the temptation to let stress and anxiety kick in, but when the gusts of wind keep coming with greater force, it’s challenging not to lose my footing.

Before I know it, my prayer life and my trust in Jesus mirror the image of my post-tornado hair. My inner peace has vanished, and everything feels like the end of the world.

It’s overwhelming. I feel small. I feel conquered by the chaos around me. Satan has me right where he wants me.

Isn’t it easy to forget that God shows his greatest power through the weak and vulnerable?

A small stone thrown by a small boy killed the giant, Goliath.
A young boy with a couple of fish and loaves of bread entrusted to Jesus fed five thousand people.
A young, poor woman gives birth to a baby boy in a feeding trough who is the Savior of the world.

God does miraculous things in the midst of our littleness.

During those chaotic moments, we have a choice. We can choose to make room for Jesus to birth peace in our hearts, or we can join the innkeepers. Do you believe that God will defeat the giants in your life, or do you go into battle alone?

When I make room in my heart for Christ’s peace it doesn’t change the chaos around me, but it preserves my inner peace and prevents me from getting tossed in the wind.

It’s only when I trust in God’s faithfulness and strength that I am able to see the world’s chaos in proper proportion to my God. There’s nothing quite like being immersed in Christ’s peace unafraid of the chaos surrounding you.

I am tired of being an innkeeper.

I’ve learned that the stillness of Christ’s peace is the only tactic to shield chaos. There’s not enough room for chaos and peace, so I am clearing out the stress and anxiety that bully my heart and making room for Jesus.

The decision is yours. Is there room for Jesus’ peace in your heart?

“The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7