Some of you read my previous post; Lost – Jesus. If you haven’t and want to, go to http://www.livinglovewithkelly.com/lost-jesus/
Through the Light Fog
A few days ago was clean-up day at our house. Time for Christmas decorations to be carefully packed away to wait for another year. I had followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and had not looked for the little wooden baby Jesus that had been missing from one of my nativity sets. My effort was spent looking for Jesus in other ways – in my home, my life, my church, my family and friends, and in nature. Now comes a time of complete honesty and transparency with you. I have felt His presence this month and am so grateful that I saw Him and heard Him in the everyday things. But it was as if I was experiencing the presence of Christ through a light fog. Although thankful for every experience, I was puzzled by the distance I felt throughout the entire season.
What was God doing? It wasn’t until today that the lesson began to unfold. This is not a lesson that will be learned in one day, possibly not even one year. But I am so thankful that God loves me enough to spend time to teach me. The distance I have felt from God over the holidays had to reach a point of longing that almost hurt, had to reach a point of thirst that was almost desperate before I could possibly understand.
Lost and Found
So now, back to the packing up. Box after box was put away. No baby Jesus. I checked every box carefully, looking in every piece of paper. My sweet husband helped look in every box as well. After all the decorations were put away if was time to pack up the nativities.
Every piece of packing paper was unfolded, squeezed, rechecked – no baby Jesus. Each beautiful piece of every single nativity was lovingly put away; all protected and safe and sound. No baby Jesus. One final box with 3 or 4 pieces of paper in the bottom. My husband checked each one.
Now you guys I am not making this up. He lifted the very last piece of packing material, looked up at me and said, “Kelly, there’s something in here. But I don’t think it’s big enough.” He gently unwrapped as I held my breath and there it was. The tiny manger was sitting in Phil’s hand. As he continued to unwrap the most beautiful sight came into view. There He was; the tiny little wooden baby Jesus that had been missing for over a month. It was a special moment. What was lost had been found. We had diligently searched and had dedicated ourselves to the one thing that would make our day complete – finding baby Jesus.
A Slow Dawning
It has been a few days since we found that little baby Jesus. Unfortunately, the fog didn’t lift as soon as we found that wooden baby. There was not a miraculous bridging of the distance I had felt. But a slow dawning is happening in my life even tonight as I write. I was going to wait to share until I felt like I had the lesson God had for me in a nice, sharable package. But I felt that someone might need to hear this tonight, even though it is still a bit messy in my own mind. Someone reading this may be feeling a distance, a separation from their Savior.
During this Christmas season, I was looking and listening for God. I felt that a lesson was coming and so I was trying to pay attention. But as the days turned into weeks and the presence of God seemed to stay at arm’s length I became more and more desperate to enter the Holy of Holies and crawl up into the lap of my Savior. My thirst became almost painful. The desert is real. Frustrated, I cried out to Jesus.
The answer has been painful in many ways. I gave my life to Christ when I was 8 1/2 years old. In February it will be 51 years that I have spent as a child of God. I really don’t remember much of my life without Jesus. He has always been there. Sure, I have strayed off the path and have put distance in our relationship. But when I drew near to Him, He always allowed me to feel His presence.
This time was different, and life-changing. I know God will never leave nor forsake me but I learned this month that He will sometimes use challenging ways to teach us valuable lessons. This time, although I knew God was there, He kept His distance. Now some of you may disagree and say that God will not do this. All I know is my own personal experience. I also know that I am so thankful for it. It seemed as though God wanted me to feel what the Psalmist wrote in
Psalm 42:2, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you Oh God.” And in Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God. I shall seek you earnestly. My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
How could I appreciate the presence of God through the Holy Spirit if I didn’t ever remember a time without Him? Could I truly run into His presence with joy and thanksgiving if I didn’t remember a time when I had no place to run? Maybe this entire month when I was looking for Jesus in all the normal parts of my life, I was forgetting how vital it is to my very existence to see Him, hear Him, experience Him in every moment and every breath.Could it be that I wasn’t searching fervently enough. Or possibly I was just expecting Him to do all the work and simply come to me immediately when I called out to Him even though I had not moved.
I am learning. Today, I am drawing near. Tonight, I am finding again the streams of water. As the rain falls on our earth may I open my arms to the rain of the Spirit into my soul. I will knock, seek, ask…..and I will find. With careful intention and reverence I will not take for granted the loving arms of my Creator. I will dance in His presence and sing His praises. My Jesus was never lost, but I am realizing that I must do my part to come into His presence.
I must pray without ceasing and dig into His word, With great dedication I must share the message of Christ with others. My goal if to love and cherish, honor and glorify, praise and give thanks for something that until today I may have taken for granted. As this season comes to a close, I will look into the eyes of my Savior and truly be thankful for His desire to walk with me.
Have you lost baby Jesus in your life? Do you have a lesson to learn? Join me in this new year as we come into His presence and allow Him to change our lives.