If you receive my weekly devotionals in your inbox, Sweet Thoughts, then you’ve been going through the weeks of Advent with me. We have read more about Promise (the promise the Lord gave to save his people through the words of the Prophet Isaiah), Preparation (Preparing our hearts to remember what Christ did for us and will do), and Joy (the joy that the Lord brought to a dark world, and how we can live in a state of joy by knowing Him).
Because there are technically FIVE weeks of advent and the next Sweet Thoughts would send on Christmas Day, I am mixing it up a little for these final two. Today, week 4, is on love. I hope you know how cared for and loved you are always, but are especially reminded of it today. If you enjoy today’s blog post but aren’t signed up for my weekly devos that hit your inbox at 6 AM every single week… You can sign up right here to join my inner circle community. Being part of my emails means you not only get my weekly devos, but you get first dibs on any new products in the shop or for exciting news!
Today’s Scripture: John 3: 16-18 (ESV & The MSG versions are my favorite!)
Random fact about me: I was a dancer my entire life- from age 3 all the way through college where I danced on the team at my university. Performances were my favorite thing, and knowing people I loved were there in the audience was so special to me. I would always try to find them in the audience before making my way onto the stage, giving a wave and blowing a kiss. As much as it truly meant for them to be there cheering me on, I wanted them to know I saw them. I wanted them to know that their showing up to my performance meant the world and I felt honored, cherished, and loved because of it.
My mom and dad, no joke, missed not a single performance my entire life. Y’all… That’s a lot. We are talking every single one. Every recital, every basketball game, every football game, every show in college. They were there. Usually somewhere right in the middle, because they would get there early enough to assemble themselves in the best seats. As I write about this, it actually makes me cry. They showed up. Their love was shown to me by always being there. On my best days and my worst. The days I hit that triple and the ones I stumbled out of it… they were always there clapping, smiling, and -if you’re my dad- crying more often than not. I absolutely get my cry at the drop of a dime from my daddy, which I think is so sweet. My dad is the epitome of a hardworking man to me, yet he has the most tender, gentle spirit bundled up inside of him. I love that about him.
Anyways, it has been 6 years since I have done any kind of a performance, yet I am brought to tears even now when I think about how much effort it took on their part to be present and show me how much they loved me by being at EVERY. SINGLE. PERFORMANCE.
In that same way, God sent Jesus to us to prove His love and faithfulness. He had promised His people for hundreds of years that He had a plan. But as we know, God’s timing is perfect and they were longingly waiting for it. They waited for dozens and dozens of generations to see the promise fulfilled. And, honestly I cannot blame the Israelites for starting to wonder if they messed up one too many times or if He had changed His mind. But, no no, God didn’t change His mind. He waited until the darkness was too dark to deny -the perfect time- to send His light that would save the world. The darkest of darks needed the brightest light of promise, hope, joy, and love! Isn’t it true that when the light is shown in the darkest part of the night, its light is appreciated most? A light at dusk isn’t as necessary as 2 AM. God waited for His 2 AM, if you will. He showed up in the dark in a most perfect, gentle, graceful, peaceful way to prove His love once and for all. And, not because He has to prove His love. I mean… He is God. But, love shown is love received, and He came for His people so that they would receive His love as a promise fulfilled and doubt His love no more.
Just like my parents showing up, planning ahead of time to make certain they got the best seats, it’s bonkers to me that God loves me even more than that. He loves you, sees you, and celebrates you. On your best days and worst of days, He loves you with a love that cannot be denied. He doesn’t show up to condemn you or accuse you of your wrong-doings as this scripture says, but to prove to you -despite your shortcomings- that you were worth showing up for.
Aren’t you grateful for a Savior who came down, put on flesh, lived a life you couldn’t live and died the death you deserved in order to prove just HOW MUCH He loves you?
Merry Christmas, my friends!