My Book Therapy cohort and good friend/fellow writer Rachel Hauck is running this cool 12 days of Christmas feature on her blog. She interviews 12 authors with 12 questions about Christmas. The idea caught on and ran like wildfire through the blogging world. I thought - hey, fun! And signed up to be a featured author on Camy Tang's blog. I was answering my "12 Questions" when I came upon this one:
Christmas grows more and more commercial every year. Setting the hustle and bustle aside, what does Christmas really mean to you?
Hmm. Good question. Here was my answer:
I recently watched the Nativity movie. And as the star shone down on Bethlehem, chills went through me, as if it was hitting me anew, as if I was beholding this gift for the first time. The fact that God would come down in the form of a helpless baby, for the purpose of dying for our sins so we could be forgiven and join him in heaven--that takes my breath away. Frankly, I think it takes everyone's breath away, and our minds are so unable to comprehend it, that we take our eyes off the truth, looking at it through our peripheral, distracting ourselves with presents and food and festivities. Yes, we're celebrating, but somehow, I think that when we behold God in the form of a baby, we should be on our faces, weeping.
Someday, by the grace of God, we will be.
As I've thought about my words more over the past few days, I've wondered--why don't we take time to really behold him? Is it because, perhaps, we're convinced we can't? Do we think, oh, we'll never be able to know God, here on earth--so we surrender even trying?
And what does it even mean to behold him?
It's been a grueling couple of months for me, with deadlines, and other projects, but I've noticed that when I take time to pray and study the Word every morning, He smoothes out my day, redeems my time, makes my energies fruitful. But this is only a sliver of how I might behold Him. I've also seen Him at work in my family, coming alongside to support me. I've seen financial provision, and moments of rest He's provided. All this whets my appetite to know Him more, to fling my heart out into His hands. I wonder what I might see if I made it my wholehearted devotion to know him. To make him, as one of my friends put it, "My Magnificent Obsession?" To offer my day, my self, my life a blank slate, and ask Him to write upon it.
I want to behold him.
It's my current ponderings, but I've decided in the New Year to begin a journal - a separate one where I can record my glimpses of God, big and little. My Beholding Journal, perhaps.
I hope you're having a season where, past all the festivities, food and fun, you are able to behold the One who held nothing back to show you He loves you.
God Bless you this Holiday Season!
In His Grace,
Susan May Warren