Being stuck in Minnesota for the holidays has made me quite pensive. Sometimes that’s great and other times, not so much. Pensive is okay, brooding is not. This particular post is more of a pensive nature, I think.
Until this year, the only time I’ve been away from home for the holidays was Thanksgiving, the year I ran away. I was living in unrepentant sin and rebellion and everybody knew it. How could I show my face again? I felt I was unacceptable and because of that, I assumed I was also unwanted and unloved by my family, my church, and the Lord.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5
Needless to say, I was overwhelmed when I came for Christmas that year and felt more loved by every member of my small family (who are not sentimental or affectionate) than I’d ever felt before. I remember my stoic grandfather, who is characterized by his default state of disgruntlement, took me in his arms, gave me the biggest bear hug, and wept. It was like the prodigal coming home, except the Lord had not yet brought me to repentance and faith. But He wasn’t going to allow me to remain dead in sin much longer. It wasn’t long after that that he finally started drawing me away from death and decay – out of darkness, into His marvelous light. Glory to God!
I couldn’t have understood it at the time, but reflecting on it now, I’m blown away by what a powerful image of the Gospel that was. Apart from Christ, I am utterly unacceptable to God. But by His grace, I’ve been saved. Washed in His blood, cleansed from my sins, counted righteous in Him. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
And so, instead of grumbling about all the things I’d rather be doing and people I’m not getting to spend time with over the remaining holidays, I’ve resolved to think on THESE things and cultivate a thankful heart for all that the Lord has done and is doing even now.
Music: Taylor Swift – Silent Night