I spent precious time with such beautiful souls today— truly, women who radiate, who bless, who love God down out their feet, up through their eyes.
But, the time came for them to leave— all people leave. We leave each other for short amounts of time and long amounts of time. Everyone leaves their bodies. Some slowly, some quickly, with and without goodbyes. We will reunite with some.
Anyway, they left— I went grocery shopping and picked up antibiotics.
Here I sit with a small Wendy’s chili, pills, and my laptop.
Here I sit, thankful for so much, in despair about a few, and tired.
Red and starry sprinkles sit on the table, cocoa is crusted to the sides of the crock pot in the sink, the miscellaneous items I tossed in the closet before guest came over are (try not to judge) still there.
I thought about putting all the green-red party goodness away, prepping food for tomorrow, putting the chairs back in their places, but I knew if I didn’t sit and listen now, it wouldn’t happen.
Listening requires energy. More specifically— a pushing away of my human instincts (good and bad) in exchange for the Spirit’s prompting. The Spirit’s timing. The Spirit’s lavishing.
Yes, He is inviting me here. Inviting me to sit and listen. I’m writing to you, but I’m writing for Him. I’m writing for Him and He’s gifting me with the task and privilege because He wants to love me and fill me as I sit and pour out for Him. He knows it’s not always easy, but He still invites me because He knows He’s worth it.
I know it— it runs from my fingertips to my heart. He reaches toward all of us, but He’ll never touch us unless we say yes. He reaches toward me, invites me. The “yes” takes energy— indeed, the listening is sacrifice…the sacrifice that makes room for His gift, the gift of HOLY-blood bought reconciliation and union that keeps on giving and filling.
This week of advent is the week of Joy and the Shepherds Candle.
When the angels appeared to the shepherds, the shepherds were going about their work…in the night. My guess is they were either sleeping or tired when the angels appeared to them, but that did not keep them from listening to God’s message given through the angels— the Savior, Messiah, and Peacemaker was born! And, what’s more, they were told where He was.
The message was essentially— the Messiah is here and you can go to Him.
The Messiah has come to us and we can be with Him! Glory to God!
Is that not the very core of our joy?!
During more difficult, teary moments today my heart and my soul felt pain. BUT, in moments when I was able to refocus on the truths of God and His Spirit alive in me (the Comforter and Counselor), I was filled with joy.
Joy doesn’t remove pain immediately or even on this side of Paradise, but it does lift our eyes to the astounding beauty of our wounded-once-and-for-all Healer.
Joy—I’m graciously handed the Gift moment by moment.
Joy because Jesus descended from His throne room to a world that hated Him for me.
Joy because Jesus stretched His arms out wide so I could always have access to His arms.
Emmanuel— yes, in Him is fullness of Joy.
Emmanuel— not just a name, but a promise.
He says, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
My friend, He is not far from you.
If you have received Him, He is in you.
Listening may take effort, freeing our hands and hearts of idols will require effort, but believe me, you loved-by-God , He has arrived and His arms are stretched wide for you— run to Him for your joy, darling. Run to Him for everything.
He will hold, He will transform, He will multiply, and He will make what’s dead sing.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth
peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
What time will you make each day this week to listen to God and allow Him to wrap you in His joy?
What is holding you back from God’s arms? Is it your schedule, your creature comforts, your fear or distaste of intimacy? Will you write it down and consider giving it to God? He’s worth it.