Unwrapping Christmas

When I was a little girl, I loved getting gifts at Christmas. What child doesn’t? I was one of those kids that loved the challenge of finding the gifts that my mother purchased for me. My poor mom had to find all sorts of interesting places to hide our gifts because I usually found them. I would actually open the wrapped gifts and then rewrap them making her think I hadn’t found them. I know I drove her crazy! 

We actually had some pretty great places to hide gifts in our house and I knew every place there was to hide them. I remember two times my mom was able to outsmart me. One year she hid them in the back of our station wagon and another year she dispersed them at different houses in our neighborhood. That was really sheer genius on her part! 

You can see that I love to search and find things, which explains my love for mysteries. I think I must have read every Nancy Drew book that was ever published when I was growing up. I still love figuring out who the killer is before it is revealed in the book or movie that I am watching. I am a detective in my heart. I love seeking and finding the truth.

For the past 8 years during the month of December, I have been reading “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp. Below the title of this devotional are these words: “Unwrapping The Full Love Story Of Christmas.”  Notice the word unwrapping. I knew when I saw that word that I was going to be on a journey of discovery. If you haven’t read this devotional, I highly recommend you get it. Every year I read it during the month of December and every year I discover something new!  

The word nerd that I am compelled me to look up the definitions of unwrap and detect.

Unwrap— to remove the wrapping from: DISCLOSE  Unwrap a package; Unwrap evidence in a criminal case. 

Detect— to discover the true character of; to discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of 

The definition of each word explains so much of who I am. I love to unwrap because I love to discover what is under the wrapping paper. Just look at a child’s face when they unwrap their gifts. There is so much joy when they discover what is under the paper. And that’s how I feel when I unwrap Christmas. I feel so much joy as I uncover the character of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are fascinating! I like to call them my “holy huddle.” 

This past year has been a tough one. I’m sure most of you feel that way. There have been so many issues to deal with. But, even though I have been hit with so many things, I have pursued my “holy huddle.” They have shown me how to live my days walking in their truth and light. 

Let me share these words from “The Greatest Gift.” “Wise men are only wise because they make their priority the seeking of Christ.” I have read the story of Jesus’ birth so many times. But, it never resonated with me why the wise men were considered wise. They were wise because their priority was finding Jesus. I want my priority to be the same as the wise men.

I have been intrigued by the wise men this Christmas, so I did a little research. Scholars aren’t certain how long it took them to find Jesus or when they finally did. There are many views on this topic. But, what gets me is the fact that they weren’t going to stop until they found Him. They were on a mission to find the Christ child. And just like the wise men, we have our own mission. We have to look for Jesus in our every day lives. He is there. We have to pray for our eyes to be opened to who He is. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says, “when you seek, you will find.”

We have a “holy huddle” to talk to. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit want us to come to them and ask for their help. We are not alone. We have the absolute best and most powerful force on our side. Even while there is evil all around us, we have a mighty God who is more than able to help us. We must believe in that power. We can never be undone. 

“But out of a family line that looks like a mess, God brings the Messiah. What was intended to harm, God intended all of it for good, and no matter what intends to harm you, God’s arms have you. You can never be undone.” Voskamp

I know it is hard with so much going on to take the time to pause and look for Him. I have found it hard to do when the days are riddled with so much activity. And to be honest, there are times that I get so wrapped up in my daily routine that I forget to look. But, I must keep at it. I must keep looking for Him in my every day life so I can recognize His presence.  

We unwrap Christmas when we take the time to seek, to look, to find, to open the greatest gift ever given. I still feel so much joy when I discover something new about my “holy huddle.” I feel like that little girl who found the gifts that my mother hid from me. When I learn something new or see God at work around me, I get so excited! I call those moments my “AHA moments!”

Whenever God uncovers a mystery for me, I am blown away. The reason why is because my “holy huddle” is taking the time to show me what I have been seeking. The fact that they care enough to impart truth to me completely amazes me. 

“God always sees—and He will always see to it. And He will be seen. God gives God. That is the gift God always ultimately gives. Because nothing is greater and we have no greater need, God gives God. God gives God, and we only need to slow long enough to unwrap the Greatest Gift with our time: time in His word, time in His presence, time at His feet.” Voskamp

Isn’t that beautiful? God gives God. We only need to take the time to be with Him. His presence is the present that we seek. All those years of me looking and finding those gifts don’t even compare to the joy I get from being in His presence and having my “AHA moments!” I like to think that the wise men felt the same way when they finally reached their destination; when they finally found the Savior of the world. Oh what joy they must have felt to see Him after their long journey!

And that is what we are on—a long journey on this earth. Some days seem longer than others. This year feels like 10 years. But what are we going to do while we are here? What are we going to do with our time? Where are we going to look for our answers? Those are questions we need to ask ourselves. A new year is coming. How are you going to spend your days? 

I am still going to seek. I am going to unwrap every day as if it were Christmas. I am going to spend time with my “holy huddle” and talk to them and ask them questions and listen for their teaching. I am going to lay down anything that gets in my way. I am going to keep searching so I can detect their involvement in my life.

What are you going to do to unwrap Christmas? It’s never too late to start. We can unwrap truth every single day of the year. We can search and look for God every day we live on this planet. He is here. He wants to be found. Put your Sherlock Holmes hat on, find your magnifying glass and look for Him. He is everywhere.

“He is Immanuel—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

My journey has been filled with many detours. There have been mountains to climb and valleys  so low I didn’t think I would be able to climb out of. There have been days plodding in the desert and months of strolling on green grass surrounded by blooming flowers. But no matter where I am walking, I am advancing with my “holy huddle.” I am searching for answers. I am listening for truth. I am guided by the biggest magnifying glass ever created in the universe. All I have to do is put on my detective hat, grab that magnifying glass, and get ready to find the amazing truth that comes from the greatest huddle ever assembled. My prayer for myself and for you is, “May we be like the wise men and make our priority the seeking of Christ.” Voskamp

Merry Christmas everyone!!! I pray you will have a Christmas that is filled with so much joy!!! Until next time….

“JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD HAS COME!!!!!”

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