Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went to a solitary place, where He prayed.
Do you feel rushed this holiday season? I do. Are you counting down the days til Christmas? I am. Do you wonder if you can get everything done in time? I do.
Over the years I have learned that stealing away to a quiet place with my B I B L E (yes that’s the book for me) is the best thing I can do for myself each day. That’s exactly what Jesus did. The crowds pushed in, the disciples questions were relentless, people just kept bugging Him everywhere He went……even His family. He didn’t say, “Give me a Break!” He took one, because He knew the importance of His time with His Father. He needed to hear His voice. He needed to get things off His chest and He knew His Father would be the best listener. And He knew He needed to intercede for those around Him, whom He loved dearly.
I wish I could say I get up before dawn and spend time with my Heavenly Father, just like Jesus did. I can’t. Yet, I do my best to “get away” and quiet myself in His word, in prayer, in a devotional. I come away with refreshment of the soul, more purpose to my day, and a calmness/peace that only Christ can give.
Once again Jenny and I are reading the Christmas devotional together, The Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp. We have gotten so much good out of it already and it’s only Day 5. Today’s focus was on God’s calling of Abram’s life. He told Abram He was going to bless him. Why? Simply because that’s who God is and that’s what God does. He blesses you and me because He loves us so much. Because He wants to. He just wants to. And then, we see the need to bless others!
Ann writes, “So slow down to feel the wind. Listen to the carols just a little bit longer. Linger in the quiet and taste the grace of now, and know that He is good and He is God. Name them in this moment–gift upon gift–and listen for the echo in everything: I will bless you.”
In the rush of this beautiful, wonderful, magical, celebration season, take time to count your blessings. Go ahead! Name them one by one by one. I promise it will make you smile. I promise it will change your mood. Your stress will turn into gratitude. And your grateful heart will spill over so that you can bless someone else this day. Who will that be?
A bonus: Ann Voscamp has created a very nice “Jesse Tree” to do as a daily activity for each day of the Advent season. With each lesson comes a downloadable ornament to place on a tree or branch or anything that can be a reminder of each daily lesson. We love our Jesse Tree. It’s fun decorating it with my lovely daughter, Jenny. 🙂