Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve and Beyond

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Ah, the bliss. It's Christmas Eve, and all through the house not a creature is stirring; not even Harry and his stuffed mouse. Well, actually Harry doesn't have a stuffed mouse. He has a bunch of toys, such as a stuffed grouse, a pheasant (which was recently eviscerated and now I have to sew it up again), his orange orangutan, and a couple other toys that don't interest him as much. But as you all know from visiting here at Faith Fuel, Harry's chief interest in life is contentment. He finds contentment through lots of naps and by following me around the house. Cause wherever I am, that may he be also- with me. That's his thinking.

Harry doesn't even seem to notice our sparkling Christmas tree, which is leaning precariously to one side. He doesn't notice that today is Christmas Eve and that we're about to celebrate the most life changing event in all of History: that of a babe being born via a virgin birth, a babe who is the Savior of the world. And I love that word, Savior. I love that Savior who is the Word, the living Word. I need a Savior. I don't know about you, but I need Him more than ever. I want Him to save me body, mind, soul, and spirit. And lately, especially have Him save the mind. I want Him to redeem and renew my thinking so I can perceive all of Who He is and How He works in my life. I do not want to be dull and slow to perceive.

The book on Fasting ( by Jentezen Franklin) arrived the other day, ironically. The fridge is loaded ( and taking center stage is the big hunkin' Standing Rib Roast we will have tomorrow, on Christmas Day) and our pantry is thankfully full. What an abundance of food and feasting with friends we will have! I feel happy about this type of rejoicing around the table. There's a time and a place for it- and the time is now.

But I'm hungrily reading the book on Fasting and my spiritual appetite is also fired up. This book is opening my eyes to the bright side of Fasting. Yes, there's a lack of food and natural sustenance when you go on a fast, but there is no lack of fellowship and feasting on God's Word while you abstain from food. And there's all kinds of fasts. To our generation, a fast where you eat only fruits and vegetables and drink only water would be a type of pain and suffering many would tremble at!

It's not avoiding food that is the key ingredient in a Fast. It's the drawing close to God, through Fasting, that stirs me. It's the breakthroughs of various kinds that occur when you break from natural food and cling to the Bread of Life and cry out "feed me till I want no more", as the song goes. As Jentezen Franklin points out, God is hungry. He is hungry for real fellowship with us and not our rituals of church going and half hearted praying.

Some of us are going through some real battles, real trials. Some of us do not have any half hearted apathetic gestures we are employing to get God's attention. No, instead, we are waving our arms furiously, signally to God, "Over here! Help! Please!" and we are hoping God is hearing.

HE is hearing us. He is seeing our prayers as well as listening to them. But we may not be hearing Him as clearly as we could. We may need to get more serious in our drawing near to God. We may have to push aside food, push aside frivolities and distractions and get desperately intent on knowing Him in all His goodness. When I say that, I mean that we will have to get intent on proving that we don't just know- in our head- that He is good, but that in our lives, His goodness and mercy overflows and many see it and are glad. When people see you blessed and spiritually fed and so content that bliss oozes from you, the world will grab you by the arm and say, Please tell me how you found such contentment!".

I am ready to feast and rejoice with my family at the Heralding of Good News of Great Joy- a Savior is born! But I am also ready, as the New Year approaches, to seek Him with all my heart so that all of my heart knows Him, experiences Him, and sees Him for Who He really is. I am ready for A NEW Year of real newness, fresh revelation.

He is the Way Maker. He is the One Who Makes A Way through the Wilderness. And I know I don't know Him well enough yet. My soul is not content to just be near Him, enough to feel drowsy and content like Harry does when he sleeps nearby at my feet. I want to know God so well that contentment and courage both infuse me, and the courage makes me bold and alive while the contentment keeps me a peace.

There's a journey you have to take if you want to know God. I'm on it. He is the Journey and He is at the end of my journey. Today, it's Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is Christmas Day. And after that, I will still be hungry for more of Him.


4 comments:

leslie said...

I'm happy for your "hunger". Here's to your New Year being fed to overflowing with the love, satisfaction and fulfillment of Christ.
Merry Christmas Lauren!

Jenna Lewis Cox said...

totally off subject, but i am in love with your dog. i have been wanting one just like him for 2 years now. I am hoping that this Christmas, Santa will bring me one! ;)
Merry Christmas! May you see and experience Christ more than ever before! Blessings!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

Jenna-
Get off subject anytime you want to!
And Harry is f;attered with the admiration you have for him. He sends you a sloppy kiss and a paw print!

Andrew John said...

There's a good ebook that's free to help pastors and their wives with discouragement and burnout. You can find it at
http://www.stoppastorburnout.com. It's quite helpful.