CHRISTMAS HEART LONGINGS
**CHRISTMAS** Little children light up with a glow of excitement when the word is mentioned. The word itself has become a season all its own. But why is it that the word “Christmas” stirs in our hearts a longing for gathering together and rejoicing? Sometimes we might feel that the tradition of Christmas is so ingrained in the fabric of our culture that we are set in a way of thinking not of our own choosing.
Or is Christmas a season of preparation that goes much deeper than tradition? What is the true heart longing we feel at Christmas?
THE TRUE HEART LONGING FOR CHRISTMAS
Perhaps the heart longing that we feel for Christmas is actually a PRAYER of waiting for our Savior. Many faith communities practice the season of Advent—waiting for the Savior—during these four weeks before Christmas. Even if you have not belonged to a community where Advent was a part of your tradition, perhaps it is a new tradition you could add this year.
What if we included, during these four weeks of Advent, a time to pause and pray about the longings in our hearts as we wait for our Savior? If we would be honest, we each would see that there are deep places in our hearts that need the touch of our dear Redeemer.
Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love! PSALM 44:26 ESV
Our Father in Heaven knew that we would need a Redeemer. He knew the longings that would fill those deep places in our hearts. And so, He shines a light on those places by stirring up longings within us.
SCRIPTURE PRAYERS SHOW US OUR HEART LONGINGS
He gave us so many Scriptures that are filled with those same heart longings, so many prayers expressed by those who came before us. And He wants to meet with us in those very places of longing.
Will you join me during this season of Advent, of Christmas longing, to pause and to pray? This month at Chronic Joy, we are sharing four prayers and Scriptures, one for each week of Advent. Will you pray with us as we lift our heart-longings for Christmas up to Him?
Click here to join me over at Chronic Joy Ministry, to listen to the audio blogs, and to join us in praying this month.
If you are looking for a family Advent Devotional, the book that I co-authored with my dear friend, Ifeoma Samuel, A Christmas For Us, is once again being offered for free this year at her website. Click here for the link to download this great collection of 25 short readings, Scriptures, and meaningful family activities. And make sure to check out all of the other great resources she offers there too!
I have so appreciated all of your prayers during this time of my slowed-down season of blogging. I look forward to sharing with you something new that the Lord placed on my heart this summer. During this time of pausing, even as my own body continued to feel the weakness of this disease, the Lord asked me to trust HIM with the strength to share. While I felt the weight of my weariness, He gave me words for a book, a short 12 chapter story about the journey that my husband and I walked through during our years of ministry.
And so, as God gives me strength, I plan to share the book, one chapter at a time here, on the first week of each month beginning in January. Many have asked me to share our story, and I long to be able to share each chapter in an audio blog format too. I hope to post here one other time during the month, as the Lord gives me grace, the Prayer Prompts that I join in with at the Chronic Joy Community. I am still in this journey of “BettieGsRAseasons,” but you may notice a slight shift in content and pace of sharing here on the blog. He is still teaching me more about this lifestyle of listening so closely for HIS pacing for my days.
May His grace be showered upon you all, my dear friends, with a lovely Christmas. May you feel the breath of God bringing new life into your own weary days. And may we all keep our eyes lifted to the sky, watching for the appearing of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. HE is the One our hearts long for.