by Nan Jones
I snuggled beneath the woven afghan — the one that reads, The Lord Is My Peace. The den was dark except for the Christmas lights on the tree and the glow of white lights under the snow of our Christmas village. A candle twinkled beside the manger scene, illuminating the reminder that God is now with us.
The house quiet, I basked in the solitude and pondered the things of God. My eyes focused on the Christ Child lying in His manger as the flickering candle cast shadows that bobbed in and out of the soft glow in the room.
How is it Possible? God With Us
Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.
How can we fully comprehend this? Is it possible? I cry out often, “Lord, open the eyes of my heart to understand the gift of Your love.” And He does — a little bit at a time. Perhaps to gain the full knowledge all at once would be more than we could handle.
Perhaps it is in the journey that the understanding comes.
As I looked at the Christ Child lying there before me, I thought about the Apostle Paul. He said to the church at Philippi, “Yet, indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
Paul counted ALL the things he lost as rubbish because it meant he had gained Christ.
I’m beginning to understand this. Remember? Maybe it is in the journey that the understanding comes.
God Reveals Truth When We Seek Him
I’m learning that the world can take away my job. It can take away my insurance, my health, my home, but it can never take away my Jesus. He is mine and I am His and nothing can ever change that.
And in that knowledge, I have everything I need.
I have peace that money cannot buy, I have joy that makes no sense and resonates deep within. I am complete — there is no broken place that the Spirit of God cannot and has not infused with His glorious Presence.
And in those moments I break down and weep, I have a God who comes near, holds me, and tenderly wipes away the tears.
Can I put a price on these gifts of love? Can I count their worth?
Fiery Trials Produce Genuine Faith
I love what Peter said:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Peter 1:6, 7
The Message paints a powerful picture of this same verse: “Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.”
I pulled the afghan up closer around my chin. My thoughts settled around me like my daddy’s arms when I was a child.
“What can I bring You, sweet baby Jesus? I’ll bring you my heart.”