Have your family members given you their Christmas lists yet? Our children know they have to have their lists to us no later than Thanksgiving Day. Sometimes they get them to us sooner, and it makes life a little easier. Now that they are older, we don’t stress quite as much about finding the gift on the list. You know the one. The gift is the one thing they have to have or they wouldn’t feel like it is Christmas. It’s the one thing they talk about when people ask them what they want for Christmas. The only problem with the gift is it is typically the gift for everyone that season. Inevitably one of us was out before God turned the lights on the day after Thanksgiving searching frantically until we find it. We were willing to put the effort and energy into it because they wanted it.
When our daughter, Laura, was in elementary school, she wanted a Hello Kitty winter coat. Not just any Hello Kitty winter coat, but a blue one. My husband, Mark, woke up extra early the day after Thanksgiving to get his daughter her heart’s desire. He wasn’t sure about sizes so he bought all three sizes he thought were possible, but he had to go to three different Targets to do so. He was a man on a mission. He would not be stopped until he had what he was searching for that morning.
The Gift of Christmas is Jesus. This year I have been determined to keep my focus on Him instead of the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I’ve been reading Luke 2 once a day in a different version every day. It has really impacted my day and my focus. This morning I read from the Amplified Bible and loved what I discovered in Luke 2:12. It says “And this will be a sign for you (by which you will recognize Him); you will find (after searching) a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Did you see it? Did it hit you? You will find Jesus after you search for Him. Luke 2:16 goes on to say “So they went with haste and (by searching) found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger.”
By searching…it wasn’t by accident. They didn’t just bump into Him along their journey with their sheep. They had to be intentional. They made a careful search for the Baby. They pursued Him and they were not disappointed. Oh, sweet friends, how long has it been since you’ve genuinely pursued Jesus? I’m not talking about getting up and reading your daily devotionals or listening to the sermon attentively at church on Sunday morning. I’m talking about pursuing Him with the tenacity Mark went after the Hello Kitty coat, as if your very life depended on it. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” The Amplified says “Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me (as a vital necessity) and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Is He a vital necessity in your life? Are you truly searching for Him?
My prayer for each of us is for us to have a powerful encounter with the living God this Christmas that overwhelms us so much we refuse to settle for less from that point on and pursue Him daily as if our very lives depends upon it. What are you searching for today?