In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus… -Traditional African American Spiritual
What is it that we are longing for? Are our needs being met? Do we place our wants at the foot of the cross or do we strive to self-satisfy by the world’s standards?
As we head into a season of wants, are we seeking to fill the stockings and the space under the tree or are we longing to fill a spiritual need? That was the question I recently posed to the people living in my household as I asked for a Christmas list.
As I skimmed it over and saw only a few items this year, I wondered if maybe we, as parents, were doing something right. Not many toys, a handful of books, and a couple of jokes were written in broad pencil strokes. Nothing fancy and nothing expensive. The needs seemed minimal and the wants even less.
Something was missing. Something was nagging at me. I found myself digging beneath the hard soil of angst building up in my head and realize that it was not about those who lived under the same roof as myself, it was about me.
What about my needs and wants? I see them being met in this season of life, but it’s the reflection back to when my parents asked me for those wish-lists all those years ago that I thought about. Everything I asked for and more was waiting for me under the tree. I played with toys, wore new clothes, and read all of those books, but I was always searching for more. It took until I was the one stuffing those stockings to see the truth of what was missing on those glorious mornings of childhood. It was Jesus.
I needed Him then. I knew who He was, but my need for the baby in the stable seemed to allude me. The big picture was being missed. All of my childhood wants of doll dreamhouses and shiny new bikes were fulfilled. All of my spiritual needs passed me by.
What I needed was to seek the kingdom of God, and to truly open myself up to what the Advent of the Lord really meant.
Matthew 6:32-33 ESV
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
As a mother, I am blessed to see my children growing in the knowledge of the Lord. I see them in communion with Jesus as they pray, study and fellowship with other believers. They prioritize God’s Word and live by faith. The baby in the stable is their friend and His Advent is always celebrated. Their needs are met. I have done my job.
I don’t want to look back in bitterness at the hole in the middle of Christmas. The Lord placed me on a very specific path and I will never question his motives. His will for my life as a child didn’t include in-depth knowledge because He knew that it would be something I would cling to later in life. My need of him has been since my own birth, but my lack of maturity didn’t allow for me to want it. I needed to grow up in my faith to see the truth of the want.
Now each and every morning, from the moment I rise, all I want to do is glorify my King. I want to sing to the God who became a baby placed in a manger. My need is of Him, my want is to praise Him all the days of my life.
All glory be to Our Lord Jesus Christ.