ChristmasChristmas. Ah, Christmas.

The other night all I wanted to do was watch a bit of Netflix and then snuggle down beneath the layers of blankets on my bed. It had been a long day and it’s been a long week.

And then I remembered the elfcapades. And the fact that I hadn’t planned anything for the elves yet.

That’s when I saw the manger scene and knew the elves needed to take some time off from their typical night of elfcapades to rest at the manger and to read the Christmas story.

Or, because the elfcapades are orchestrated by me, it was me who needed to come to the manger and soak in the mystery of Christmas. Again.

I’ve discovered – or rediscovered – that if I don’t seek out Jesus, if I don’t actively choose to enter His presence and spend time with Him, the frenetic pace of life overtakes me. To maintain a real peace and a sense of genuine hope, it’s Jesus that I need to overtake me.

I need His presence within me and around me in order to navigate these days of unknowns and challenges. I need His promises and His truth even if I can’t always fully understand how they work in connection with my life and circumstances.

I need to believe in the mystery and the miracle of Christmas for without these, life becomes nothing more than something for me to endure. And, honestly, even though I believe in the wonders of His love and amazing grace, still there are days I merely endure, pushing through on survival mode.mangerAnd that’s when I have to choose Him. That’s when I come back to Bethlehem and immerse myself in the story of a Savior born into a hurting, messy, messed up world to bring light and life, dazzling light and abundant life.

There in that stable God came near and invited us to join Him on the amazing journey of our life. It doesn’t always feel that way, but it’s always true.

Emmanuel; God with us. Always with me. Always near. Always showing me the way my feet should go on this adventure we call life.

And when I forget or when I doubt or when I am worn, He whispers to my heart of the mystery of Bethlehem and a King born to die for me. And it is that truth that allows me to lift my weary head and behold the promise of His joy ever before me.

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