Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
I'm going to shut down the computer for a little while, gals. I am heading out to Colorado the day after Christmas to spend a few days with my extended family, celebrating my mother's 70th birthday (she doesn't read the blog, so I can put the number in print!). And by the way, she really doesn't look a day over 55...but I will be back after the New Year.
This Christmas season has been a memorable one for me for many reasons. But the main one that sticks out in my mind is the overwhelming graciousness of God. As time passes, it seems that this world only becomes more dysfunctional, more wicked, and more self-focussed. I think that every day we move farther from Adam's perfect state simply adds to the horrific condition that sin has afforded here on earth. Oh, I know - sin brought death, and dead is dead - there aren't levels of death. But I think the effects of sin on earth have increased - on the soul there is only one effect, but on earth the wickedness seems to be increasing. Maybe it's because we are filling the earth with sinners.
None of this is a surprise to God. He completely understands the rebellion of sinful man, our dark hearts and our self-preservation tendencies. He knows that we want to worship and follow anything and everything but Him, and He gets the fact that fist-shaking is one of our favorite pastimes when it comes to knowing Him. Being a sinner makes us His enemy. He knows it, feels it, and completely understands it.
So what does He do about it?
"But God demonstrates His own love for us, that while we were YET SINNERS, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
While we were still his enemy. While we were shaking our fist at Him. While we were worshipping someone or something else. While we were sitting on the throne of our hearts, ruling and rebelling, He sent His Son to make the way clear for us to be restored back to Him.
Who does that? Oh, we might do that for our children, but for our enemies? For those who hate us? Only God is gracious to the point of death. And it doesn't stop there. His loving arms reach around His children individually and patiently hold, lead, guide, discipline and even playfully tickle now and again because He loves so deeply. So deeply that while we were still His enemy He fixed the problem. What love is this? How gracious must He be to offer His only Son for the life of His enemy, Kristen Wisen?
And then when I see His hand as clearly as I have over the past few months and years of my life, and I realize that salvation is enough for me but He offers so much more than just salvation, I am humbly overwhelmed at His goodness, His kindness and His grace. And not just in my life, but in the lives of countless believers around the world - how He can be so attentive to so many all at the same time is mind-boggling...but then again, He is God and I am not...
Okay, enough rambling. I just want to say that I love the Lord, and I hope and pray that the sight of that tiny, little baby brings to mind the fact that He was the Father's gift to you for eternity.
While you were His enemy, He sent His Son.
Thank You, Father and Thank You, Jesus...