I love all things Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of the entire year. I love the anticipation of Christmas Day, and I always hate for Christmas to end. I love the trees, ornaments, decorations, making cookies, shopping, wrapping presents, movies–all of it! But most of all, I love my Savior, who came from a perfect Heaven to this Earth, filled with us imperfect humans, to save us. I don’t really ever forget that part during Christmas, but I find that it does get overlooked and pushed to the back burner. It takes effort to bring Jesus back into the forefront of Christmas and center stage of it all.
As I celebrated Christmas, I took a moment before Christmas Sunday to remind myself and my girls that Jesus is Emmanuel–He really is God with us. And that is a big deal. He is here with us, all of the time.
And He’s not only with us, but He is for us. He is on our side. He is working on our behalf and already gone before us to make our paths straight.
Psalm 18:30-36 says it this way, “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true….v. 33 God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.”
That’s what I need for 2016. I need Him to make me surefooted, to train my hands and make a wide path to keep my foot from slipping.
It’s easy to celebrate Emmanuel as “God with us” at Christmastime, but we cannot forget that as we enter 2016. He will be with us every single day throughout the entire next year. And if He is with us, then we can remember that Hebrews says He also cares enough to respond to us as we seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 MSG). And as we seek Him first, we can remember that the prayers of the righteous produce wonderful results.
Armed with those truths, we can have great anticipation of what God can do through our lives in 2016. Our plans and dreams should reflect that great anticipation as well! As we, and the rest of the world, make resolutions and take inventory of our lives, lets make plans that are bigger than ourselves. Our dreams and goals should be bigger than we can accomplish in our strength. They should make us uncomfortable, and maybe even embarrass us if we say them out loud. After all, we aren’t here very long on this Earth compared to eternity and I want 2016 to count for God and His Glory in this short life that I have.
Let’s all let God drop some dreams into our hearts that HE wants to accomplish this year through us. Let’s stop asking God for what we want and start asking God for what HE wants for our lives.