Message of Christmas
I felt like a hypocrite. I was at church with my family last Christmas Eve. The service was getting ready to begin and something was missing. In me.
I excused myself and went to the restroom. Locked the stall. And quietly called out to God. “What’s wrong? Where is the joy?” I honestly admitted something that He already knew. My joy was depleted. Gone.
I had noticed that my joy was “leaking” for quite a while, but thought that Christmas, or vacation, or family time would be the spark to bring it back. That wasn’t the case.
From the restroom, I could hear the music begin in the sanctuary. But I lingered to finish the honest conversation with God. “I don’t want to feel this way. I want to celebrate You and this season with joy. Where can I find my joy again, God?”
I’ve never heard God’s voice audibly. But I recognized His response. He reminded me that JOY IS FINDABLE.
It is found in His presence.
“In your presence there is fullness of joy”….Psalm 16:11
He gently acknowledged that we hadn’t been spending much time together. And He tenderly invited me to spend more time being present in His presence. My heart needed that reminder. Joy is findable because it is a byproduct of spending time with Him. I was lacking joy because I was neglecting time with my Father. There is no substitute. And my heart knew it.
You may be sensing the same thing. A longing for more joy. Or peace. Or rest. God loves us enough to not offer substitutes. He loves us enough to offer Himself. And the time we spend with Him changes us. Refreshes us. Fills us.
I will never forget the time spent with God that night in the church restroom stall. He met me. We spent time together and it brought me joy. My kids have asked that I never share that story. Or at least change the “where.” But, I like being honest. With you and with God. It does my heart good. It brings me joy.
JOY is findable. Because He is findable. That’s the message of Christmas.