I was reminded how out of shape I am as I literally ran into the sanctuary with no time to spare. I’m pretty sure I was the last one to sit down in a room full of hundreds. Seriously – the very last one.

I really didn’t have time for this.

The women of my church were gathering for a Christmas celebration. While festive music played, beautiful decor sparkled on the tables, and women enjoyed conversation, I sat there with a million things on my mind. I had just left a house full of children with homework still left to do, my Christmas decorations were still in the attic, and my December to-do list was growing by the minute. During the busiest month of the year, I was just five minutes in and already fidgety in my seat.

I looked around the crowded room and saw women of all varieties and ages. Eventually their combined voices and laughter made for quite a bit of commotion, until this:

Holy Holy I will bow before
My Lord and King
Hallelujah You have come to us
You make all things new

The room quickly came to a hush as the soloist began to tenderly sing, and my heart was convicted on the spot.

You have come to us.

That sums this whole season up right there. But in the midst of a too-full schedule and completely wrong expectations, I was missing it big time.

The music continued, and I couldn’t help but notice that the woman seated directly across from me was quietly weeping. I don’t know her story, but without saying a word her demeanor communicated that her tears came from a place of pain…

So amazing, You have named the stars
Of the deepest night
Still You love me
You have called my name
I will follow You

Every season has some kind of tension – this I have learned in my forty-two years. Lights can be twinkling and our hearts full of joy one moment, and the next minute can be filled with deep suffering. No matter where you and I find ourselves on that spectrum today an underlying current remains, reminding us that until Jesus returns we will all be a bit unsettled here.

WK5D3

The disciples had been on the rollercoaster of their lives.

They were walking and talking with Jesus, watching him perform miracles and enjoying intimate fellowship with the One who had called them out of the crowd and placed them in a front row seat to His glory. But just when the joy of experiencing the God-man was at its fullest, the tidal waves crashed in.

Soldiers beat him and crucified him. The world rejected him, and the light dimmed.

But give it a few days – three to be exact – and another wave of emotions rushed in as they came upon the empty tomb. Some believed in an instant while others needed proof, but joy emerged as the realization of death defeated sunk in.

Holy Holy God Almighty
There is none like You
Holy Holy God Almighty
There is none like You

Fellowship, miracles, and joy returned for a season. But don’t get too comfortable. After forty days passed, the next wave came.

You rose from the dead, only to leave us again? 

Some worshipped and some doubted on the mountain that day, and then Jesus issued a tall order – one that might have sounded downright impossible to these men who were most likely weary from all of the twists, turns, highs, and lows of recent days and years.

You know the world that just rejected me?  Go reach them in my name.

I can just imagine the heart of Jesus that day as he looked into the eyes of the men who would go into all the world. He knew what they were feeling – each one – and so he ended his final earthly address with the comfort they needed to hear in this new season:

 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:20

Tension still with joys and trials to come, but His presence would remain.

 

Emmanuel, Jesus Christ
You’ll never let me go
My shepherd King
You’re watching over me
Emmanuel
___________________

 

The soloist finished with the powerful chorus and now I was the one with hard tears running down my face – this time not because of deep pain, but because I finally sat still long enough to grasp the wonder of it all.

 

Emmanuel, God with us.

 

The greatest gift of all, in every season.

 

At His feet,
 

 

*LET’S TALK: Are you struggling to rest in God’s presence today? Let us know how our team can pray for you in the comments below…

 

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