We are hours away from having every single member of our family in the same four walls for the first time since one year ago today.
My heart swells with so many emotions…
gratitude that this will happen again another year…
a tender respect for the fact that we are not guaranteed a repeat next year, or in truth, ever again here on planet earth.
I also weep empathetic tears for those who are living that reality for the first time..or the tenth time…or the twentieth time this Christmas.
Life and relationships and we…my friends…are fragile.
And we take what we get with open hands and thankful hearts as we keep our eyes on the One who secured for us our real and eternal future.
This longing in our hearts to be gathered together…this is His heart for us.
Father, I want everyone you have given me to be with me wherever I am. Then they will see the glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the world was created.
John 17:24 CEV
I get that.
From a human standpoint I understand that desire to want my people with me but I have to lean hard into Christ to understand the depth of what He is saying that far exceeds my flesh and blood heart ability to love and care for and tend and enjoy and serve those I love.
Because I love selfishly.
I love because of feelings and emotions and experiences.
He loves because God loved Him before the world was created.
He loves because He is love….perfect love.
A love that is so far beyond my comprehension and ability and yet through Him, I too can love better…higher…unselfishly.
When I choose to abide…live…walk…journey…in Him and with Him…I see the glory of who He is and that love transforms me and His love flows through me.
In this season of remembering that He came to show us how…can we all embrace the way He has embraced us to His heart?
As we receive Him as a baby in the manger, let us crown Him King and LORD over all that we are and all we hold dear.
Heavenly Father, my heart is filled with joy today at the prospect of gathering with the family You have blessed us with.
But Lord, it is heavy for those who gather with an empty chair or more.
We know so many have lost family this year.
Mostly in a timing that to our human hearts was far too early.
I pray Your comfort and peace to rest solid in these homes as I picture sweet and precious faces who are moving on into what life looks like without the earthly presence of one so dear to them.
Lord, You are the God of Comfort and Peace.
Reign in our hearts as we hold together in tender prayer and the unity of belief that we will see them one day when You come and gather us one last time…together…forever.
In the Name of Him who died and now lives for us, Jesus Christ, the Messiah…Immanuel…God with us.