nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:27 NKJV
It's hard to even post the picture for his entry. It is the one thing I allow Satan to have a place. It is the one thing that I allow him to prod me with over and over. It is the one thing that no one understands completely, except for him and God. It is the one thing that he can hurt with me with the most...and he knows it.
Christmas....my absolute favorite time of the year. As a young girl, I fell in love with Christmas. I learned early how to hold Christmas in my heart and live it throughout the year. I spend hours thinking about that first Christmas night....about what it was like. About that young girl who had been chosen by God to carry His only Son. We don't always think about it, but how alone and afraid she must have felt. And Joseph, a man taking a wife who was pregnant knowing it wasn't his, just because God told him to go ahead. Those shepherds, the poorest of the poor, being the ones God chose to announce the birth of the Messiah. Wise Men traveling for months to worship a promised king....a baby in Bethlehem.
The miracle of Christmas...the story of God pausing for all of humankind. The story of God taking the time to wrap the most precious gift the world has ever been given and send it in the form of a baby.
The night when Love was born. That was the title for the drive through nativity last year. It came from one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I have ever heard. It was perfect heading for the telling of the story. The hours I spent trying to develop scenes that would show the world the story of that beautiful night. My personal offering to God. I would walk around just before it started and pray at each scene that God would use it, that He would let those people in those cars see the miracle of the first Christmas night. It wasn't just a Christmas program, it was my Christmas offering to a God who had shown me what it means to hold Christmas in your heart and I wanted to share it with everyone else.
This year brought changes and I am no longer directing a drive through nativity. Of all the changes in my life this year, it is the one that Satan helps me hold onto...the one thing I manage to let him use most. I know that God has other things in mind for me, for my family. I know that He is leading us. But there is this empty space...this part of my heart that craves the chance to share that story in a visual form. There is a part of me that aches to see a little boy so excited because he saw the Baby Jesus on the other side of the church and his parents are taking him around for the third time. There is a part of me that wants to see a church come together and do its very best to tell the greatest story ever told.
It came from somewhere this weekend...I can't find anywhere I would have read it, so maybe He told me. Sometimes you have to put something down so you can pick up something greater. God, I am trying to put it down, but it's almost November and these arms feel so empty. God, even as I sit here typing, the tears won't stop flowing. It is so hard to put something down that meant so much to so many. I know that if You gave me the ministry to start with, You can always give it to me again or maybe something different. God, help me to be grateful for the opportunity to witness the beauty of it while I held it. To be thankful that it was, even if it is no longer. And God, please never let me lose this childlike wonder of Christmas....the manger, the shepherds, the teenage girl and her husband, the singing of angels, and the Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. Let those pictures of that first Christmas forever remain in my mind and my heart. May I always close my eyes and see the night when Love was born.