Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
It is finally Christmas Day! I can hear the sigh of relief and giant yawns of all the moms and dads after a night of some assembly required and endless cooking then cleaning. The elaborate productions are over and communion taken and the church is closed. Youngsters are up ripping and roaring with coffee pots providing the power to fuel the big day. Without any children only teens and grownups, I was afforded the luxury of getting up around 8:00 AM. I know it sounds crazy but I kind of miss the long nights of stuffing five stockings and endless hours of putting together their treasures. Life is changing in our house.
This morning when my eyes opened, I had one thing on my mind. It was Jesus. No I am not so holy that all I do is live and breathe the Lord every single second, oh how I hope one day I would. It has been a season of change in our family. God is doing something new. Even this season of giving has been different. Life is filled with expectation. Mine has significantly changed over the last five years or so. I am a new person. Through the trials and testing of life, I have come out someone who other than who I was and I am getting to know and understand her. I have definitely mellowed over time. I see life with a new perspective and I am still getting used to it.
What do you expect? For today. For tomorrow. Next week. Next month. For the coming year. What are your expectations? On Christmas day, people will open gifts given from family, friends and loved ones. Will their expectations be met? Will they be satisfied? Will they be content? Last night, we watched over video chat as our daughter and son-in-law opened their gifts. My heart was beating really fast. I usually just get whatever it is my kids say that they may want. Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at it. But now our daughter lives in another state and we do not have the casual conversations and leisurely shopping trips like before. Her wants and desires are changing. We blessed her with a designer watch. As her parents, we wanted her to be excited just like when she was a kid. We wanted her to love it and be satisfied. We bless our kids because we love them. We want only the best for them. We give out of that love and desire to satisfy them. Our Father in Heaven feels the same way. He loves us so much that He gives us His Best. Sometimes His Best does not line up with our immediate expectation. It may take time to know and understand fully what the Lord is doing. He is a Good Father. Always and Forever.
Today in this moment on this day of met and unmet expectations, I feel the Peace of God given by His Son, Jesus. There are many things that the Lord has done for us and our family rejoices. There are some other things that He is doing that we sense and feel but do not see how they will come to pass. Lord, gives us the peace and patience to wait on You. And then, there are those things that just don’t seem to be accomplishing anything more than frustrating us and causing us to fret. The authority and power of my life including all of my expectation are squarely on the shoulders of Jesus today. To surrender my expectations right down to what I have and do not have are to experience His Peace that passes all understanding. Jesus is the Son that was given. He absolutely can fill our every longing if we put our hope in Him.
Romans 10:1-4 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
When Jesus came to the earth, everyone had a different expectation of what the Messiah would do, how he would do it, and what he might look like or be. They were excited about His Coming, but when He did not meet their personal expectation some would ultimately reject the Savior of the world. What about you? Today in the midst of giving and getting, I challenge you to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord again. I ask you to seek to know Him more so that your zeal will demonstrate the power to change your life. Every promise that we have been given in His Birth and Arrival are culminated in zeal based on the knowledge of Who Jesus is and what He came to do. When we decide to place all of our human expectation (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) in the Lord – He becomes who He came to be in our life. As our perspective changes and through a personal relationship with the Lord, so does our expectation. The Fruit of God’s Spirit will then grow and mature in us satisfying our soul which will manifest contentment in our life. Hope never leads to disappointment. There is no hope without Jesus. He is the culmination of completeness for those who seek to know Him more.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours! May the joy, peace and love of Jesus prevail in your home today. If you feel alone today, you are not. Saturate yourself in His Presence today. He will be all that you need if you come to Him. My prayer for you and yours is that each of one will come to know Jesus more and experience the Goodness of the Father all the more in the coming year. Above all, may you experience the Love of Jesus that will always be far greater than our expectation.
Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.