This morning I thought I would take a moment and share some real life stuff with you. The past few days have been extremely difficult in keeping a worshipful attitude and resting in the peace of the Lord. I really don’t know why. To guess, I would say I am simply distracted. It’s the middle of the Christmas holiday season and in my family this time of year also brings several birthdays. It starts with my brother’s birthday early November, then Thanksgiving, my wife’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, mother-in-law birthday, parents wedding anniversary, Christmas, my dads birthday; all before the new year. So distracted is probably why I feel somewhat disconnected.
Reading this morning, the Lord took me to John 15:9-11. There is a lot of depth in this group of scriptures but I want to just focus for a moment on what Christ said about “remain in the vine”. Immediately I could see the Lord trying to reach for me through all my distractions with these words, “…remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” I know deep in my heart that the Lord understands my distractions this life brings. Sometimes we go to church, the band fires up and everyone begins lifting their hands all around you but all you can focus on is how pretty the lights and decorations are this year. When your family descends upon your household for the holidays all you can think of is how clean your house needs to be knowing once people arrive it will just be a mess again. Your mind is racing, “Do you have enough gifts for everyone? Did you forget someone? Did I mail that package in time?”
I have to remind myself that I am a child of the One who set time in motion. In the earlier verse 7 of this chapter Christ says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Surely he is not suggesting you ask for a Lexus with a big red bow to show up in the driveway Christmas morning. If our heart beats with his and we truly desire him then we can ask him for things like “time”. Time with him. Take every chance you get no matter how unspiritual you may feel at that moment, to stop and simply ask for time, for a moment with your heavenly Father. Jesus tells us in verse 11, “I have told you [all] this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Keep pushing through the distractions to meet the Lord. Distractions will always be there but know that Jesus truly understands and wants us to know his joy so that part of us can be complete in him. I want joy during this busy time of the year and not just the joy you get watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (best Christmas movie ever). I want a joy that will outlast this season and let me push through all my distractions to meet with Lord Jesus on the other side. I must remain in Christ, no matter what.