I’ve little interest in Christmas.
I’m excited about Christ.
If it were up to me, we wouldn’t have a tree. But I love the man who carries this stuff up. Meticulously picking each piece out. Humming and singing as he goes. Gathering and printing addresses. Stamping and mailing cheer wishes. Though not about presents and gifts, I’m wrapped up in the presence of Christ in him.
THE SUBSTANCE OF FAITH
“I need to watch The Three Stooges,” he announced like a dose a day could possibly promote healing. The television was plugging an episode of Moe and Curly squealing, slapping, falling like clowns. “Slapstick is the best,” eyes locked on screen, clutching remote control as if it were a Special Report interrupting our regularly scheduled programming.
How I love to laugh. Love hearing my hurting husband roar. He almost never complains. If it weren’t for the heating pad and cold packs draped over his shoulders, you wouldn’t know he suffers with chronic pain.
Around nine o’clock, on the edge of our bed, he takes my hand. “Thank you, Father, for carrying us another day.” Eyes closed, his voice goes low, like to speak it any louder would make it impossible to face tomorrow, “One day closer to home.”
This is not our home.
Though we build, paint, decorate it’s still just a temporary place. And really, we wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s hard, I know, to wrap our mind around this because dirt is all we know, but here is where faith in Christ shines like glittering gold.
Faith opens our eyes to God—the word of life—who makes life worth living. By faith we hear the voice of God warning of trouble ahead, like Noah who boarded the ark. By faith we’re always traveling the unknown, knowing Whom we have believed. Like Abraham saw the unseen. By faith we are brave in the face of death, like Jochebed (Moses’s mother) and the command of a cowardly king. By faith we pass on the pleasures of sin, like Moses quitting the riches of Egypt.
How do any of us endure the grave of any given day? Resurrection. Jesus who is called Christ having opened heaven by his blood—the Substance faith lives for.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)
WHAT GOD WANTS
Music is coming from the kitchen as I’m lounging on the couch, clicking computer keys, and hearing Lauren Daigle sing, “Our finest gifts we bring…” And in my spirit, I ask, “What do I bring my King?” And His word came, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb 11:6)
Is it possible? Our faith brings God pleasure? How can that be, Lord? Seems like all I ever do is ask for help. Why did you come at all? Why bother with sinful women and men? Why not flood the earth again? What exactly do You want with us?
And there it was, like pure driven snow—It’s all about God’s help—because faith in ourselves never ends well. And we can’t know. Don’t need to know…all God has in mind for us. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived what God has ready for those who love Him” (1 Co 2:9)
Maybe this will shed a little more light on all that’s yet unknown: Coming home from the hospital in summer with a tear in my back, I did little more than drag myself out of bed every hour for weeks to keep my legs from turning to stone. Discouraged, feeling worthless, my husband asked, “Are you walking by faith?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Then God is pleased.”
When the whole of us puts faith in Jesus, the King is pleased. Because this faith is the victory that overcomes a broken us.
What God wants with all of us is to live in His presence—because God knows, who He is, is the greatest gift. God, sanctifying us into the likeness of his Son brings us one day closer to Him.
God wants us!
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)