A Christmas Swim
By Jolee Paden
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." - Hebrews 12:1-3
I secure my goggles, jump into the pool and begin a lap swimming workout. Deep breaths. Systematic and controlled strokes. Ultimately, I am approaching the cross painted on the other end of the lap pool.
In order to focus on the cross, I need my goggles. Without the goggles, I would constantly be checking my position in the pool as I nervously await hitting my head on the approaching wall. The Holy Spirit reminds me of my goggles. Just like the Holy Spirit, my goggles give me clear enough focus to push towards what is ahead of me. Without them I could still swim, but it wouldn't be pretty. I would be unsure of my position, how far I have gone and how far I have yet to go. They don't do the workout for me, but they enable me to do it well.
This Christmas, ask God for Holy Spirit goggles to walk you through the day. Do not become calloused to the goodness of Christ's birth and what it means for all eternity. You can survive Christmas without an active awareness of the Holy Spirit, but it won't be pretty. Do not put the Spirit on the shelf when it has been given to you as the best gift ever (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).
In Matthew 13:16-17, it reads, "But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." You are on the other side of hope! You know the hope and glory found in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christmas is the celebration of a seed that had been planted thousands of years ago, and we get to eat its fruit.
Walk in the fullness of the Spirit today as you live in gratitude, fellowship with joy and see others in light of Jesus's love for them.
- What distraction or barrier is keeping you from jumping into the fullness of Christmas joy?
- How has the Holy Spirit given you new eyes to see a situation or person? (How might you need new eyes?)
- What hope has God provided for you in the salvation found through the gospel of Jesus Christ?
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:1-18
Holy Spirit, open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you and feel you in a fresh way this Christmas. I ask for the power of your revelation in my heart that I may carry the hope of the gospel for my family, my community and the nations. Thank you for being a Savior of both proximity and presence as you entered into the world with the utmost vulnerability to save us from ourselves and the world around us. You are good.