Whispers of God

It’s the morning of Christmas Eve, and I’m the only one up.  Tears stream as I watch Godvine videos. When I have tears like this, there’s usually a deep truth to acknowledge.

IMG_1249On Godvine, I watched a skinny “Santa” giving coats, gloves, hugs, and bowls of soup to the homeless.  A  choir sings Christmas hymns in a mall, ending with O Holy Night and scores of shoppers kneeling before Mary, Joseph and Jesus as they walk into the gathered crowd. Even a pit bull puppy was in my teary-video mix. It seems this rambunctious dog has a compassionate gift. He spends days in a veterinary hospital and naturally snuggles with other animals who are suffering.

I can’t help but make comparisons. Jesus — do I have anything to offer? How can I share You with a hurting world? in my home? with my friends? in my city? Where do you want me, and how can I best reveal You? I feel inept, like I am letting You down, Jesus. Like I am missing my mark or wasting my life. I softly sob. I want to be different, like those on the videos. They share You through their lives, and people feel loved, encouraged, joyful. What is my gift, Jesus? How is it that I can share Your love? Share You, Jesus?

The following  quotes from writers much more eloquent than I pour into my soul this morning.

“You are most prepared for Christmas when you are done trying to make your performance into the gift — and instead revel in His *presence* as the Gift.” Ann Voskamp

John Wesley died with the words, “The best of all is, God is with us” on his tongue. These words could beat joy in our hearts on a night like this.”
IMG_2607Ann Voskamp “is a broken, weary sinner who joins a weary world rejoicing that Jesus is coming, that Love comes down —  that there is the deep relief that Christmas and Christ, our only hope, is coming and this the most glorious news that has ever really happened.”
My prayer: What is the answer, Jesus? I am painting and writing. I am sharing myself, and what you have done in me. In this casual blog writing, I don’t feel at my best. I’m better at a more formal and less vulnerable style. But I know, You are the gift, Jesus! It is not about me at all. Please help me to simply give. To follow you and your nudge to me. Help me to trust you.
We’re at the Christmas Eve service, singing “In the Bleak of Midwinter.” This line jumps off the page, “What can I give Him poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a wise man, I would do my part; yet what can I give Him — give Him my heart.” There’s my answer — the one I knew all along, but so quickly forget.
IMG_2703It’s December the 26th, and God wants to be sure I heard Him. Today’s devotional added a final stamp to God’s Christmas message to me.  I can’t sing or dance. I’m not really remarkable at much. I’m a very ordinary person, with everyday type talents. Like the widow in Mark you could call me “impoverished” in the talents-that-encourage-and-move-people category. But I know and love Jesus, and He loves me. He is with me always. And that is all I need to do what He purposes for me. Now, if only I will remember.
Today’s devotional follows:

December 26, 2013

Quiet Devotion

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

In Mark, Jesus makes note of the actions of a simple widow:

[The Lord] sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:41-44).

While many people came to the temple, hoping to be seen and to make an offering that would bring awe and approval, this humble widow gave all she had to the Lord—seeking only to worship Him and to be found faithful in His eyes. She was not caught up in the trappings of her society. Nor did she wonder what others thought of her. Her only thought was to obey the Lord and to demonstrate her love for Him.

In fact, this woman probably knew that if the temple leaders saw her meager offering, they would scowl, but she knew God would bless her obedience and quiet devotion.

Is the attitude of your heart set on the Savior, or do you compare yourself to others and strive to do what appears right from the world’s perspective? God has a different grading scale. It is one of grace and infinite love. When the motivation of your heart is right, you will sense His good pleasure and blessing. All that you do will glorify Him, and He will guard your heart and mind with His mercy and grace.

Prayer: Lord, my purpose in this world is to love You with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. You are worthy of my devotion. Continue to search my heart so that I will be only Yours. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.


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