Thursday, December 25, 2014

Surprise Packages

Waking up this morning was hard.
My body was tired, my muscles sore, my attitude a jumbled mess of emotion.
Despite my troubles, my worries and my pains, there is a burden on my heart I cannot ignore.
I lay and I dread getting up, but my burden pushes at me, wants to lift me by the shoulders and get me on my way. Tell them, it whispers.
My spirit has jumped up to grab the burden, and in spite of myself I find myself begrudgingly following, tagging along with my childlike side, which is racing after the burden. Together we grab it, and I find myself, heart and soul, being lifted up, encouraged and strengthened as this balloon-like burden lifts us up, not down.

What is this?

How can this be?

He did it!

In my humanity I forgot. In the space of a day I got tired, and my weariness led to frustration. I forgot- but somehow I have it still. This burden, this message, this gift, this life.....

He hasn't left me.
My burden has a name, and He's given me a heart.
He gave me His heart.
I am astounded again, but somenow I can speak.
Would you hear it?
Listen well...

His heart is the heart of a man who saw the darkest things, wept over them, and loved them.
And still He came! And loved.... And he loved us.
He loved me, with all my mess.
And you, he loved you too, even in your brokenness!
He fought for us, I tell you! He fought to bottle your tears and catch your fall.
He gave his life for it, for you, for me.

But He came as a surprise, you know.
To you, to me, to his teenaged mom.
Things weren't supposed to happen that way,
And no one saw it coming.
The signs told about it and the earth declared it, but we were still confused, lost in the dark.
Yet for all our confusion, he came.

He came the weakest He could be, a simple baby in a humble family, in one of the darkest times of the world.
The world must have stopped for a second, when nature realized that God just became man.
Can you imagine, the wind holding its breath?
And then came the baby's first cry, announcing himself so normally to the world, no pomp at all.
But nature couldn't hold itself back, the heavens needed to rejoice.
They saw what we couldn't. A Savior was born! Hope breathed life into the world, and the peace on that day couldn't be contained. Peace exploded into joy as the stars arranged themselves to point to the world- He's Here! He did it! Look, come and see! Soon all shall be restored! 
Then the Heavens shouted as the hosts of angels came to declare- these other beings created just to serve Him, how on that lovely night they praised Him! Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace to men...

He surprised the world.
Death didn't stand a change, and darkness fled before him.
Many didn't see, they couldn't. But still he came, accomplishing His purpose.

He brought life into the world.
He set the earth in motion, to begin the restoration.
Still he is here... Surprising us.
How could we know, how could we see?
We cannot predict the plans of God....
But we can encounter them, and be moved by them.
Or we can ignore them...

Here is my prayer for you, and for me, this Christmas morning.
I pray that we would be surprised around the corners today.
Those moments you dread, those darkest deepest shadows of your heart...
I pray that we would find Him there, a light in the darkness.
I pray that He would invade your hearts with life, as only God can.
I hope that today, you will remember His love as I did, and you will know His heart.

And I pray that we would be those people talked about in Isaiah, who "walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, his light has dawned....."
I pray that you would rejoice! That in the darkest times you would hold on to hope, you would know peace, and even when you shouldn't, you would feel joy.... For you are Loved.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
And the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called wonderful counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
There will be no end."
-Isaiah 9:6-7a