I was in our local Walmart the other day shopping for stuff I needed to decorate for Christmas. Now think about it. This is the Christmas season, the season of joy, right? The season of it’s better to give than receive.
We had just come off of Black Friday. The news was good. Spending was up 16% over this time last year. Those who keep such statistics told us that we spent 52.4 billion dollars during Black Friday. That’s good for the economy. It tells us that people are not doing as badly as we thought. Things are getting better. The economy is reviving. Where I live at least, the price of gas is even coming down. So we should be filled with joy, right? Well, we’re not. When I watch people going up and down the aisles at Walmart they look like they’re doing a “perp walk” at the local prison.
Why is it that we look so serious, so bent over, so weighed down? Why is it that we have it so well and at the same time feel that something is missing? The truth of the matter is that it is. It’s God. I know. That sounds religious and you would expect me to say that. But it’s true. Everything that God has made is good. The benefits, the blessings, the luxuries, the lifestyle that we enjoy has certainly come at the hands of God. But remember this: things will never take the place of God. Loving things ends in emptiness and disappointment. Loving God may be frustrating because He doesn’t do what you want Him to do. He often gives you not what you want but what you need. But in spite of the mystery, the bigness, the scary nature of God, He does love you right where you are today.
All the things that we see are mere reflections of His true essence, personality, and greatness. I dare you to love Him – to fall in love with Jesus; not polyester Jesus, not wrinkle-free Jesus, not live-at-the-church Jesus, but the kind of Jesus who came down to be with us, was rejected, crucified, and came victoriously out of the grave. This Jesus who put a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a thrill in your soul.