I wrapped seven more presents today, discovered some fun old ribbon
in the bottom of my scraps and heard Jesus talk into my soul.

Christmas is supposed to be a lot of things but the one thing it seems to best be is one thing it was never meant to be — chaotic. The only fully effective and satisfying way for me to beat seasonal, situational, relational or inner chaos is simply to be still and draw near to Jesus. 

Oh, do I resist! The bustle of this season, my task orientation, a rascally child with special needs who won’t let me turn my back, the needs of someone I love, my temptation to pamper myself…these things and more keep me distracted and deflected. What I really want and need comes from quieting my surroundings, my mind and my heart to take a soul-quenching drink from the River of Life. 

Today I started my quiet time with God by wrapping some presents. No Christmas music added this time, just the hum of the refrigerator. After that, I read from Nancy Guthrie’s Christmas devotional Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room. And then I chewed on some scriptures (in other words, reflected and talked with God about them for a little while). 

“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich” 2 Corinthians 8:9 

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him.” Matthew 5:3 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy…” Psalm 82:3-4 

“Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.” Psalm 86:1 

“…sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10 

Will you turn off any noise in your own world for a few minutes right now and satisfy your inner hungers by chewing on God’s words to you and drinking deeply from the well of God’s Spirit? 

LORD, please strengthen our resolve to be still and draw near to you. We want meaningful and personal encounters with Your presence, power and goodness. Help us to grow deeper roots in Your love so that our appreciation of this season increases. Teach us what really matters and show us how to move into a new year reflecting grace, peace and joy. Thank you for showing us Your glory today, for restoring hope and for empowering us through your Word to live from a Kingdom perspective. AMEN