Do you get “down” during the Christmas season? It is such an exciting celebration. Everyone talking about Jesus’ birthday and having parties…sharing gifts and love…remembering what’s “important”…and on and on. For some reason I just don’t catch that fever. I even get really sad and down in the dumps (I wouldn’t go so far as to say depressed, but some days get really close to it). I have been that way most of my adult life (for underlying reasons that I don’t really need to get into…mainly disappointment of unmet expectations mixed with sin in my heart). Don’t get me wrong. I celebrate…decorate (sort of)…go to parties…give and receive gifts…and even enjoy it during those moments. But there is such a tension within me that sometimes just makes me feel like bursting into tears, or like my heart is ripping out of my chest (not physical pain, but emotional…not sure how to describe that). I get the feeling a lot of people go through something similar.
And, after yesterday’s senseless killings in Newton, Connecticut and in China, It just adds to the sadness and tension in my heart. All of this together leaves me longing for more. Longing for a deeper fellowship with my God, my Savior. So I go to God’s Word this morning and I see this promise… and the tension and yearning become even stronger… 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
Why won’t He hurry up and return? I want this yearning and unrest and yuck to end!
And then I watched this video that was shared this week…and I am reminded that there is more to do. A LOT more to do. Jesus will return at the perfect time (that no one knows…not even the Mayans). And my tension is still there…my sadness a little a little deeper for those who can’t claim the promise of eternal fellowship with God. My heart still feels like it wants to rip out of my chest…especially when I think of people I am close to who can’t find comfort in the promises of Christ. But there is still that little chamber in my soul that has hope. That tension – that pull between longing and hope is there for a purpose. God put it within us. We ALL were created to worship God…and we all (even those who deny Him and name it something different) have that longing. So don’t hate the longing. For those who have found Life in Jesus, embrace the hope and share it with those who haven’t found it yet. For those of you who haven’t, search for the one thing that will fill the void…and there is only one thing that will… what are you searching for? (please view the video now)