"God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us.
The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone.
Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let him-whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend-be our companion."~Henri Nouwen
I love this quote. It’s framed and displayed each Christmas in a prominent place in my family room. It serves as a powerful reminder that Jesus in not only my Savior but my everyday Companion.
Often, I’m so ashamed of my perpetual needs, brokenness, and sin. Skillfully, I push down my wounds because I fear that facing the pain will annihilate me. Allowing Jesus to gently confront these fragmented places will require me to slow down, make time, create space for Him. These dark desolate places need the balm of His word and the light of His truth. Soul cracks only heal in the light.
Embarrassingly, like a scared child I’m afraid to slow down and listen, so I run. I can’t hear when I’m on the run. All the overwhelming details of the holidays make me run more. And running always numbs my soul.
Why in the world do I run from the One who offers the only path of healing and wholeness? My soul forgets that His love is greater than my chaotic hodgepodge of brokenness. That’s why He came. He willingly dwelled among the ragged edges of mankind. He was deeply moved by our lost condition. I desperately need His love and abiding Presence. We all do.
Sisters, Jesus wants to be our Companion, meeting our deepest needs, longings, dreams, and desires. He knows the unique heart language of each of our souls. We are fully seen and understood by Him. Christmas is the great reminder of the precious gift of His sweet never-ending Presence. He is our Emmanuel. God with us. Our Companion.
Today, invite Him into the lonely, hurt, sin filled places of your heart; make space even in the mayhem of this season. He waits for the invitation to speak truth and shed light into those places that break us, bind us in knots of bondage, and cause us great struggle.
Nothing is too messy for Him. His understanding, compassion, and grace come from a Heavenly source of unending goodness - a source far beyond this earth. He was the bridge that made all things possible...
Scriptures to meditate on:
“…. I will never leave leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
“…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Author: Maryanne Abbate