Christmas Gifts

A couple weeks ago I had trouble sleeping at night. After playing games on my phone, blogging, reading and writing emails, I finally decided to pray. I thought maybe there’s something God is trying to tell me tonight and I need to listen. He brought to my mind Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” Which reminded me of my Christmas gift to Jesus.

Every year on Christmas my family gives gifts to Jesus. It is His birthday after all. Usually they sound like New Year’s resolutions with a faith twist, like read the Bible everyday, memorize Scripture, help the poor, use the gifts God has given me, etc. The last few years we haven’t all been together on Christmas so we haven’t passed the “gift box” around where we read what we gave Jesus last year and say what our gift is this year. I’ve still thought about what I would give Him, but without the accountability of the family tradition, I haven’t been very intentional.

A few years ago my “gift” – or at least theme for the year – was to be still. I was working more than 40 hours a week, commuting 10-12 hours each week, newly married, volunteering with a youth ministry, starting a Bible study, etc. All good things, but it meant for a busy life. I knew God wanted me to learn to be still and know that He is God. Unfortunately I don’t think I followed through very well, because I’m still learning.

Even that sleepless night when I tried to be still and listen to God, my mind kept wandering, mainly to how I would write about this on the blog. I thought I’d share with you some insight on the verse:

Be STILL and know that I am God
When was the last time you were still, quiet, and everyone around you was also? It’s a challenge in our technology-driven, keep up with the Joneses, chauffeur your kids to every sport & music lesson world. While I do think it’s important once in a while to be still & silent before God, I think we also need to learn to be still in the loudness that surrounds us. Even in the busyness, we need to be content, calm, at peace, and able to hear God’s voice leading us. We need to quiet our hearts, minds, souls, and strength in order to be still before the Lord.

Be still and KNOW that I am God
Sometimes the word “know” is used in the Bible to refer to a husband knowing his wife, as in Genesis 4:1, Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bore a son. I don’t know if the original Hebrew word for know in Psalm 46:10 is the same as the intimate know in Genesis 4:1 (if you can look that up, let me know). However, it caused me to think about how well I know God in comparison to how well I know my husband.

Jeff and I talk everyday, we make decisions together, we have inside jokes that no one else would think are funny, we have lots of memories. Even if you didn’t know anything about us and you came to our house, it wouldn’t take you long to figure out Jeff and I are married and have traveled to a lot of cool places. You would know because there are pictures everywhere documenting our relationship. Can the same be said for my relationship with God, or your relationship with God? Maybe you can’t scrapbook pictures of you and the Lord, but do you know Him like you know the other loved ones in your life?

Be still and know that I AM GOD
I am not God. I like to be in control. I like to make decisions. I often think my plans are better than God’s. But I am not God. Neither are you. God is in control. God has better plans than I can imagine. My role is to follow Him. But I know every time I worry or fear, every time I choose my selfish desires first, every time I doubt – in any situation – I am trying to be God. How have you tried to be God? Controlling your children, worrying about your job, fearing you’ll be single your whole life? You don’t need to think those things. You need to be still and know that God is God.

Dear Lord, help us be still and quiet before You. Help us to be still even in the loudness of our busy worlds. Help us to know You more. May it be the desire of our hearts to be in close relationship with You, talking with You and letting You lead our lives. Help us to trust You above all else. To know that You are in control, You are trustworthy and faithful, and we can always depend on You. Lord help us to be still and know that You are God. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

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