Seeking Understanding in the Quiet

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Red and Green Leaves
Faded Memories with Renewed Understanding

Many of us are beginning to see the end of the frenzied pace of Christmas preparation and getting ready for the activity packed and carefully planned celebration of Christmas ”“ the celebration of Christ’s birth. Perhaps you have already attended elaborate, feast laden, joyful pre-celebration events, maybe you have the most spectacular tree ever decorated,  delectable meals planned, and great numbers of family and friends expected to sweep in and enjoy the long-awaited celebration that someone created full of hard work and attention to detail. Because that is how many of us celebrate, it is how we show recognition, it is what we have come to expect in a celebration in which we honor the birth of Jesus Christ. It is what we understand, our best, it is the right way to ring in the birth of a king”¦right? Well”¦ it wasn’t that type of celebration over 2000 years ago when Christ was born. But God didn’t sweep in with roaring winds, and great fires. It was not loud; no planned feasts or impromptu ones thrown. It was quiet and dark. He came in softly in the still of the night hidden to most. How can we of reason understand that? This week’s focus verse is Proverbs 3: 5- 6

”Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” (NLT)

It seems that for thousands of years we have tried to figure out what makes God tick. what is His thought pattern? Why does He allow this or do it like that? It is as if we think we can do it better. We want so badly to ”lean on our own understanding”. This is perhaps why it was so hard for the people of Jesus’ era and our own to accept that this is the path God chose when He descended to earth. We try so hard for an intelligible experience by applying concepts and categories as is Webster’s definition of understanding. We want a reason for everything. God however doesn’t fit into a concept or a class, there is no neat and tidy box to place Him in and pull out when we need too. We must trust because God does not follow our self-imposed rules, our reasoning’s, and thought pattern.

Sometimes He descends in a cloud with thunder and lightning (Exodus 19:16) and sometimes a burning bush (Exodus 3:2-6) that is what we expect in God, our mighty God ”“ powerful able to do anything. We expect Him to come in like a lion, big and great. But yet sometimes he descends not in a mighty windstorm, terrific earthquake, or great roaring fire but in a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-13) And over 2000 years ago on this great night we celebrate that sets the beginning of a new covenant between God and us, the sinners, He descends in the still of the night as a small helpless baby born to a young virgin mother and of all places a dark and dirty cave that houses animals. This is not a royal palace, no finery, no medical personal on standby and certainly not of our wisdom, not the way we would have done it yet it was the way God chose as it is His plan and that is what we live for and it is not for us to understand but we are given a choice. 

God gives us the choice to totally trust Him and seek His will or seek our own. If we chose to seek our own will we can count on being alone, without his strength and guidance, and the life we have here will be all we have. We will never find joy, peace, or happiness because this world with all its busyness and material things will not give us that. But if we will continually seek God He will be our guide. We must listen to God’s word, follow the word, and make God part of everything we do in total trust. Matthew 6:33 says

“Seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and He will give you everything you need.” ( NLT)

So where is God found in our lives? Are we continually seeking Him or is He lost in the busyness and activities of life? Is He lost in our celebration? We should find Christ first in all we do whether we are celebrating, decision-making, or just getting through the day.

As we go forth in this week of great celebration for Christ’s birth let us all find a time perhaps in the still of the night and listen for God. It requires no thinking, no talking, just coming with a humbled heart realizing that our understandings are not important but our total trust in mighty God is. So quietly and humbly away from all the noise and activity let us all give careful attention for his guidance in our life and we just might see a glimmer of the understanding in the quiet.

A very Merry Christmas to all of you may your celebration be full of joy as you seek and find Christ in the center of it.

Love E.J.

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