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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Monday, December 13, 2010


"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11

Like many of you, I regard Christmas as a special, holy time. It is indeed a time of giving. God gave on that first Christmas more than two thousand years ago. Of course, with the help of television ads, retail and online merchants, and junk mail that overstuffs our mailboxes, the whole concept of “giving” at Christmas time has gotten skewed way out of proportion. We sometimes hear a report on the news how different charities are collecting toys to give to needy children or some group is calling for volunteers to help feed the homeless during this season—and those are wonderful things to do. But in the effort to roll back the clutter and cacophony of the commercialism, I try to set aside a specific block of time every day to simply be quiet before God. It was during one of these times recently that my heart was especially stricken with the desire to give Jesus a gift.
Granted, it’s not a unique idea. Christians over the centuries have proclaimed the message of giving a gift to Jesus on His birthday. Likewise, we’ve all heard it said we can’t out-give God. But I was determined to discover what I could give Jesus.

During my quiet times with Him, I asked Him to lay on my heart what He wanted from me: more dedication? More love? Greater faithfulness? Boldness in witnessing? Should I step up my service? Everything that crossed my mind seemed pitifully anemic. Don’t misunderstand me, the time spent in His presence wasn’t anemic, but what I discovered wasn’t what I asked or expected. During those times of quiet communication, He led me through some memories that evoked smiles of remembrance. It was like He was whispering, “Do you remember this?” “Remember the time you were strangling on your fear?” “Remember when you felt so alone?” “Remember when your heart was so broken, you believed it would never be whole again?” How did my prayer turn from a time of me asking Jesus what He wanted from me to a time of Him drawing from our well of memories?

And so we continued, Jesus speaking in loving tones and me wiping away sweet tears of recollection. Those times to which He gently turned my mind were difficult journeys. They were times I entered feeling I was a strong Christian, ready to tackle anything the world threw at me. But I soon discovered my glaring weakness, my pitiful neediness in the midst of the desert through which I found myself traveling. I remembered those desolate places—places in which I thought I was so isolated.

“But Lord, I want You to tell me what I can give You for Your birthday. How can I serve You better?”

I felt His warm smile in my heart and He simply kept reminding me of the many times I felt lost or afraid or tempted or hurt. In every instance, it was His closeness that carried me through the difficult time. Gradually, understanding dawned within me. I’d long grasped the concept of hard times and difficult journeys deepening my level of trust and faith. But a new enlightenment emerged. During those times when I was utterly alone or drained empty or completely helpless, I learned how to NEED Him, and I now realize that needing Him is the key to KNOWING Him. Intimate communion with Jesus is such a priceless gift. Now I understood His purpose in our time of remembrance. The gift He has given me has birthed the gift He wants from me: continuing communication, praise, gratitude, trust…and love. Never-ending love.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.


Rose McCauley said...

Connie, loved your profound, yet, simple thoughts. We all need to get back to the basics of letting him fill all our needs--those we recognize and those we do not yet know. In His Love, rose

John Wilson said...

Hey Connie, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've ended up here once or twice before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website PrayerMarket.com I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other christians) think about it

I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
John W.