We sat on those stairs – five siblings, with a serious itch to take-off. Our high-pitched anxious voices said it all, we wanted to move into the living room like energetic bulls on parade. You see, what laid on the other side of the hall wall was what dreams were made of. On the other side of that wall wait perfectly wrapped, beautifully adorned – Christmas gifts and the power of Jesus unleashed.
Joy. Love. Peace. Smiles. Laughs. Cheers. It was all there and we could all – nearly taste it.
Our parents always made us wait, though. Wait for the pictures to be taken. Wait for coffee to percolate. Wait to hear the Christmas story. Wait to make sure everyone had good “picture-clothes” on.
Sometimes, the wait is agonizing.
Some days, I feel like I live on those stairs again and again. It’s like I know joy is on the other side of a wall, but I just can’t get there. I have to wait. I have to wait for life to happen. I have to wait for others to improve. I have to wait to be more Christ-like. I have to wait for my prayers to be answered.
Truth is, I want to bust into the fullness of God. I want to cross-over to the complete joy of Jesus, as if I am experiencing the joy of Christmas every single day. I don’t want to wait; I want God’s peace, life and grace to surround me. I want to enter his gates with thanksgiving in a powerful way. I want to run into each day, expecting to unwrap God’s glory.
Why do I have to wait?
As I consider this question, I also consider the fact Jesus never said, “Joy to the World only on Christmas” nor did he say, “My peace I leave you – only on good days.”
God speaks goodness over me. To me, I imagine it sounding like:
“She is full equipped with my joy.”
“Through the abundance of my love,
she can walk everyday in peace.”
“My love endures.”
And, somehow, I feel like dropping everything and running to open the riches of God’s Word – one by one. I want to see what else, what other encouragement God speaks over my heart. Here’s what I uncover:
1. God’s affection lasts for me – forever. He is always good. (Psalm 100:5)
2. His love, uncontaminated and unblemished, knocks fear down. (1 Jo. 4:18)
3. He adores me. I am his loved daughter (1 Jo. 3:1)
4. He doesn’t love only sometimes, a little, on occasion, randomly, now and then, no. He loves lavishly. (1 Jo. 3:1)
5. He sees my pain, my suffering, my injury. He essentially says, “Those ones, I love them so much, I will die for them.” (Ro. 5:8)
6. God nearly cries with our cries. He understands our turmoil. (1 Jo. 4:9)
7. He gives us, Christians, the right to eat from the tree of life, in paradise. (Rev. 2:7)
8. He chooses me, not because I am great, but because he is good. He has good plans to use me for his glory. (1 Pet. 2:9)
9. He won’t let anyone, no way, no how, snatch us out of his hand. We are his and he wants us. (Jo. 10:28)
10. He takes us and makes us more than ourselves, making us more and more holy, until we look a whole lot like him. (Jo. 10:28)
And, what my heart runs, straight into, is the idea – God is wonderful. He is my greatest gift. I can open up a part of him everyday. And, somehow, with this, it seems like I am experiencing Christmas all over again.