Living in Colorado makes it a challenge for us to see our current youngest grand. Two-year-old Beck is here with his folks for Christmas for the first time. He’s transitioning from an only-child situation to cousins by the dozens–or close to it.
I’ve tried to imagine what this is like for him during the flurry and fun of Christmas. We are a loud family, with a tendency toward constant motion, huge hugs, friendly teasing, and lots of laughter.
Brilliantly, we didn’t thrust him into the whole family at once. He’s been an image in pictures for many of the kids, in his memory and theirs, so this would be a debut for him with the crowd.
He was cautious at first. He observed carefully, eyes wide as littles close to his age ran around, voices at ridiculous decibel levels, never slowing down. Those a little older would get in his face, talking to him eyeball to eyeball–somewhat intimidating.
But as the first evening wore on, he relaxed and begin to interact with his cousins.
He just needed time to know them.
To recognize that he could enjoy them.
We’re living in a time where isolation has become more normal than the exception. Where people need one another to remind them that life is still happening, that they’re not the only ones struggling, that this pandemic doesn’t define them.
But in the space of separateness, it’s easy to languish.
God is here for us.
It’s easier to think of Him at Christmas. The birth of Jesus is the reminder of Emmanuel, God with us, that He loved us enough to send His Son so we can know that He is our loving Father who cares deeply for us.
Like Beck, many of us hold back from approaching Him, observing what they think they see or know about Him, and too often judging Him because of the brokenness of the world. Or they see a caricature of Him in those who know Him because those of us who are Jesus followers are just as messy and broken as the rest of the world.
Beck got to know his cousins by spending time with them. By giving them a chance to touch his life. He has been able to see that they love and enjoy him and want to be with him.
Isn’t this the time for us to give God that opportunity? To spend time with Him so we can really get to know Him for who He is–not because we listen to others talk about Him, but because we choose to take the plunge and get to know Him for ourselves.
Life is ultimately about relationships. Who we choose to spend time with, who will influence our lives, who will be there for us when we need help and support.
God came to earth for the purpose of showing us how He longs to be with us, to provide power and grace to live full lives, to be there for us when we need hope and courage.
Maybe now is the time to meet the One who made you, knows you, and loves you.
Allow Him to introduce you to a whole new world of hope.