Don’t Miss Out


 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”
Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
Each year as Thanksgiving comes to an end and Christmas quickly begins, I make the same vow to myself, “This year, I’m not going to get stressed out and carried away with the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Instead, I’m going to take time to focus on the hope and joy we have through the miraculous birth of Christ.  This year, I’m going to take the time to meditate on God’s truth and promises and let them saturate my heart as I reflect on the birth of Christ.”
Fast forward to December 25th around 11:30 pm and it’s the same story year after year… after all the presents have been opened, the Christmas cookies have been consumed, and my head hits the pillow, I can’t help but think, “Jesus, I missed it again.”  Not in a guilty or condemning way, rather a regret that throughout the Advent season, I missed out on truly abiding in Him throughout the Christmas season.  I missed out on the expectation, hope, and joy that comes as we remember and reflect on the birth of Christ.
Thanks Be to God that it’s not just the 25 days leading up to Christmas where we can experience Christ, it’s all year long!  And, when we feel pangs of regret or failure, He is faithful to give us more grace—it’s never too late.
In my fantasy blog world where I have everything together, I would have posted my mom’s Advent post from yesterday before Advent began, instead of three weeks into it, and I would have posted some kind of Christmas inspiration each day until December 25th.  Did you know it’s already December 17th?  How did that even happen?
Instead, with eight days to go until Christmas, I want to encourage each of us to find ways, big and small, where we can embrace the hope and faithfulness that God reveals to each of us through the birth of His Son.  It may sound cheesy, but Jesus truly is the reason for the season and I pray that we won’t let one more day go by where we miss out.
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Charles Wesley, 1745

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