Drawing Close To God

“That’s a fire hazard!” my son said as I snapped a twig off the tree and watched needles scatter to the floor. The Christmas tree was so fragrant and beautiful when it was purchased on the first of December, but on January 15th it was brittle and dead.

I was still recovering from the flu, so packing away Christmas decorations had not been a priority this year. In fact, it had not been a priority for several years. My responsibilities had changed as my children entered adulthood, and instead of flying through December checking off a to-do list, I now enjoyed a slower pace which allowed me to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. This extra time had become precious to me, which explains my dread about packing away all things Christmas.

As I began removing ornaments from the dead tree, my mood started to deteriorate. “What is wrong with me,” I thought. Inclined to blame all unexplained emotions on hormones lately, I just couldn’t dismiss this feeling as being completely hormonal. The more I thought about it, the more irritated I became.

I simply DID NOT want to wait more than 300 days to display the moss covered stable with baby Jesus as the centerpiece, or the bright lights on the tree that reminded me of the true light of the world. I didn’t want to wait another year to look at the ornaments made by my children’s tiny hands, or the knitted snowflakes made by my grandmother. I wanted the stories of good will toward men and peace on earth to continue throughout the year. Once again, I wanted to read the sweetest story ever told, and to sing Joy to the World and Glory to God in the Highest. I did not want to conform to the social norm of placing Christmas in a box, only to unpack once a year and then commercialize it to the point of losing the whole meaning of the holiday. All these emotional thoughts stirred up unrest in my soul.

And then, I heard His soft whisper. “I am Immanuel – I am with you always.”

I’m not sure why His soft whispers still surprise me. Over the years, I’ve noticed my memory is not as sharp as it once was, but these heavenly moments stick with me. Maybe it’s because they penetrate to my soul.

While I enjoy seeing all of the symbols that make Christmas so special, it’s the Spirit of Jesus living in me that I can’t live without. It is His word that lights my path, it’s His love that fuels my hope, and His strength that allows me press on.

So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.    2Corinthians 4:18

Our peace is in Jesus, and His Spirit living in us speaks truth.

Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” NLT  

As we draw near to Jesus, He will draw near to us. And as we move through this dark world, His light will shine bright for all to see.

I couldn’t agree more with the words of this old hymn –

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.”

We invite you to make  Breath on Paper a part of your daily devotion as we begin this new series on Drawing Closer to God.  (unsubscribe at anytime)

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Inspiring others to place their hope in Jesus is Jill Jessen‘s desire as she writes. Having received inspiration from daily devotionals for years, she appreciates writers who have shared their life with her. She believes we learn from living and that everyone has a story to tell. Jill and her husband Greg have three children and are now entering in to the “empty nest” phase of life. The birth of their first grandchild this year was a sweet reminder of Gods perfect gifts.

Feature Image Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

One thought on “Drawing Close To God

  1. I think Immanuel and Prince of Peace are my favorite names for Jesus. Very glad he’s with each of us every second of every day.

    Although I’m not an empty nester, I always feel a bit sad when it’s time to take down the tree and other Christmas decorations. Sorry to hear you were sick throughout Christmas, but I’m glad you’re back on your feet now!!


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