It is officially four weeks until Christmas Day, but it doesn’t look like it outside. The temperatures are in the 50’s and snow is nowhere to be seen on any weather radar. I have decorated my house with a few things just to remind myself that Christmas is coming. This is the first year since we moved that I feel a bit of the spirit of Christmas. Nebraska doesn’t get the same quantity of snow as the Chicagoland area does or even Denver. If the “background” doesn’t look like Christmas, I have a hard time seeing the season.
In Genesis 28 Jacob has run away from Esau after tricking him out of his inheritance. It’s getting dark and with no real shelter, Jacob lies down to sleep with a rock as pillow. The only way a rock is comfortable is when a person is exhausted, as I imagine Jacob was that night. During his rest, Jacob dreamt of a ladder from the earth to Heaven with angels ascending and descending. He heard God speak and encourage his weary heart, that Hope was coming.
When Jacob woke the following morning he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it,” (Genesis 28:16). When Jacob was focused on his situation and his own distress, he lost track of God’s presence. Only when he stopped rushing and running and was still, did he remember. That’s the way I have been living since we moved to Nebraska two years ago.
I have spent a lot of time working through issues and struggles, battling the past to prepare for the future. But in the middle of it all, I forgot to be present. I lost sight of the God that I love, the God I celebrate, the Savior I follow. It was only when I stopped trying to make Christmas like it was did I find out that God has been here all along, I just didn’t know it.
God is like that too, He isn’t going to push into my life or your life. He will wait until we are ready to see Him, to hear Him. To recognize Him. Then, we will be able to see what has been true all along, that He was with us in the very place we were. Hebrews 13:5 is one of the best promises I memorized, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Jesus isn’t going to leave me. I might leave Him or forget He is with me, but He will not leave me. Best Beloved, it’s the same with you. Be still, listen, and soon you may have the eyes to see that God has been with you all along.
As I look outside my home, I may not see a winter wonderland, but I won’t have to wonder if God is in that place. It will only take a moment of silence and stillness to remember, He is with me. Whether I live in Illinois or in Nebraska.