The Quest: Christmas series #2

                                                        Illuminate:  12/15/13


                         I remember the night I knew I needed saving.  At that moment, life felt as hopeless and dark as it had ever felt.    What I desperately needed was what the wise men had sought some two thousand years ago. I needed light, like a bright star shining in the dark, to help me see hope and the way out of my darkness.

                  That fateful night I had driven to a park near my house fully prepared to end my life.  I was done. I was a broken hopeless mess, wanting to come out of my pain, but yet too afraid.  Could Jesus give me any hope? Could any of His light reach me? I didn’t know.  I sat in my Dodge Neon, sobbing.  Praying what would become the first of my many honest gut wrenching prayers I would throw up to my heavenly Father. This is what I said: “Jesus, if you are really there, and my life isn’t hopeless and you can still do something with me, I need to know it, and I need to know it NOW.  If you don’t answer me Jesus I am done. I am over this life and tired of trying. I can’t go another step without knowing you are really truly there, and you really do love me and care about me.”   I sat there not so much sobbing anymore, but still a steady stream of tears rolling down my face, hiccupping, trying to catch my breath. And I waited.   I thought I would hear a scripture in my head, or a comforting voice in my mind whispering words of hope and love, but I didn’t.  Instead, I felt something, something I had never felt before.  It is hard to put this feeling into words; I can only describe it as a tiny beam of light coming into a crack in the walls of my darkness.  At that moment I had a choice: I could keep that tiny beam of light in my sight and follow it out of my darkness, or I could put some putty in the crack of my wall and shut it out.

           The wise men had a choice too.  They could follow the star in the East that would lead them to Jesus, or they could choose not to.  They chose to follow the star of Bethlehem, until it stopped, right over the place where the source of the light, Jesus, was.  Then they did something very profound. They dropped to their knees and worshipped him.  They gave precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus.  They chose to open their hearts and let the true light, Jesus, shine in.   They gave him all they had. 

     I took heed of the wise men’s advice and did the same; I chose to keep the tiny beam of light I could see and start following it out of my darkness.  I had a bit of a problem, though. I didn’t have any fancy gifts to give him like the wise men did.  I had nothing, NOTHING, to give Jesus but the broken, hopeless, crying, dark, angry mess that was my heart, and my tentative willingness to follow the tiny beam of light.   The beauty of it is that was enough.  Jesus was born that day some two thousand years ago, so that he could take my broken, hopeless, crying, dark, angry mess of a heart and heal it. He could pour his hope, grace, love, joy, peace, and forgiveness into it.   And just as the wise men did, many, many times have I bowed down in worship to my savior.

     Maybe you are like me and find yourself in the darkness, needing a light to find your way out. Jesus is that light my friend.  Make the wise choice and seek him.  Give him the gift of your brokenness, hopelessness, anger, or darkness. That is all He really wants- the gift of your heart.

    Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on.


December 15, 2013. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Illuminate part 1: The Arrival

              It was quite a dark night.  Cold and shivering, the shepherds huddled in the fields around a small fire hoping to keep warm.   At least a hundred sheep lay by, black eyes watching the shepherds who cared for them.  As long as the fire stayed burning, and the sheep could see their shepherds they knew no harm would come to them.  The shepherds chatted, discussing the next day’s plan, and how soon they would be home.  They looked up at the billion stars glittering like diamonds, having no idea that the light of the stars was nothing compared to the light they were about to see.

                All at once their night changed, because God had looked upon them with favor and chosen them to be the first to hear the birth announcement.   A light so bright it was like the dawn appeared.   Terrified, astonished, and confused, they couldn’t utter a word.  It was the angel of the Lord. He said to them knowing their fear, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you: he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in manager. “ 

   After that announcement, as if they weren’t amazed enough, a great heavenly host joined the angel, and the earth’s first worship service took place. As the shepherds looked on, the angels sang in the most beautiful melodic voices ever heard: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rest.”    Then they were gone, back to heaven.  And the shepherds sat there a few moments mouths agape. 

    Once they got over their shock, they immediately decided to go to Bethlehem.  Here is what I imagine happened upon their arrival. They found the baby wrapped in cloths, at his momma’s breast nursing.  An empty manger sat by, the animals stood in their stalls looking on.  A small lantern lit up the humble stable.   Joseph greeted them, asking what brought the shepherds to them.  They gladly re-told their story, Joseph listened, and Mary smiled shyly. The baby done filling his belly, looked up at them with huge dark eyes.  Then it happened.  The shepherds looked into the eyes of their shepherd, the one who would care for them, lead them, and save them.  “What’s his name?” the youngest shepherd asked.  Mary responded, “Jesus.”   Each shepherd stood there and whispered his name, “Jesus”.   The light of the world had finally come, and would not be overcome by darkness. (John 1:3)


 NOTE:  This is the first in a 3 part Christmas series..  the next two will be released over the  next 2 weeks






December 6, 2013. faith, spirituality, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.