Filled with Anticipation ...to Feel God. Christmas, 2017.
There is nothing quite like being 'great with child' close to Christmas Day. My firstborn son was born on my birthday three days after Christmas. And my second-born, Amy, is to deliver identical twin boys this Thursday morning. Not only is she very great with child, we are filled with anticipation, preparing for their arrival here in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Filled with anticipation to feel them, we are.
Matthew recounts, "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."1 Immanuel means "God with us." Hmmm ... God with us . . . what does that mean? I am wondering . . . do you feel God's presence, do you feel him near?
Throughout history, the people of God have been assured that God was with them. Joshua was told by God,"for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."2
David wrote of God's presence throughout the psalms, and we are comforted by the same assurance he was, that"yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me."3
Just before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he comforted his disciples with these words,"lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."4
Cognitively, we can believe that God is with us, but how can we FEEL his presence? It is Christmas time, the most important time of year for us to be aware and yes, even to feel God's presence, and yet because of busy-ness, we could miss him. Because of to-do lists, parties, etc., we could miss the awareness of our shining Star-Jesus!
What can we do?
>Let's stop and think, truly desire God's presence - Consider Brother Lawrence,5 who said, "Oh my God, since you are with me, and I must now, in obedience to your commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I ask you to grant me the grace to continue in your presence." He was a dishwasher in 17th century France.6
>Look for Him - be aware/anticipate where God might be working around you.
>Ask God to reveal himself to you - Psalm 19 talks about the heavens declaring the glory of God all around us. Look and listen for him around you.
>Make room for God with a little silence, so that you can hear him.
"God is the friend of silence . . .
See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass grow in deep silence.
See how the stars, the moon and the sun move in silence. The more we receive in our silent prayer, The more we can give in our active life." Mother Teresa
"Be still, and know that I am God." GOD, Psalm 46.10
"Be silent in the presence of the Lord God" Zephaniah 1.7
"I Am" Nicole Mullen. I hope you'll listen, and let God speak to you. Look for the great I Am.
He was . . . He is. . . the great I Am, and He is with you, Child. Look around and be with him.
Merry Christmas, dear Friend---I pray that you will anticipate and discover God's presence like never before.
5-Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence, from the 1600s