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Small

“Please grow up quickly, Jesus.”

I hadn’t meant to say this. The words just came out.

I’d been praying, trying to meditate on Christ’s birth, trying to take in something of the wonder of the incarnation to prepare myself for Christmas. In my mind, I saw myself kneeling next to the manger, leaning in to get close to the baby there. What I pictured was a beautiful scene, quiet, full of light.

But up from my gut, came a desperate cry: “Please grow up quickly. Please.”

My insides yearn for God. I’d like to say it’s because I’m passionately in love with him and eager to see all his Kingdom purposes fulfilled. But as far as I can tell, much of my yearning comes from my need.

I need a God who is stronger than I am, more courageous, more giving and generous, more understanding and wise. My soul reaches out, strains for a God who can rescue me from my immature ways, my weaknesses, and my sinfulness. It’s all too much for me.

I need a God who’s bigger than I am.

The Nativity places me next to a baby—smaller, weaker, and needier than I.

And so there, I feel exposed, unprotected, vulnerable.

My reaching soul pulls back, asking, What am I to do here?

Do I pile my adult-sized longings onto this newborn? Do I press my fearful heart to his for strength?

Or do I stay aloof, observe the crèche as a distant story, choosing instead only to meet Jesus “all grown up,” crucified, risen, and ascended, now sitting at the right hand of the Father in all His divine authority and power?

Or do I linger at the manger? Instead of running away because I’m vulnerable there, do I remain, and allow my vulnerability to meet his own?

If I know Jesus, I’m guessing he intends something for me—something for us—with him there.

Wishing you all he has for you this Christmas,
Josh

 

6 thoughts on “Small”

  1. I think when I come to the manger, I sense the enormous trust God puts in us as human beings…Joseph, for example, was necessary to carry out God’s purpose in having Jesus born in Bethlehem. Also in saving Him from king Herod yes, God could have done it differently.mbut God chose to put Himself in human hands. What an amazing relationship Hendraws in into.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Josh, thank you for this article. I read it this morning and it touched some painful places in my heart. I’m thankful that Jesus understands on a human level what it feels like to be exposed, unprotected and vulnerable. And so He knows what I feel at times. I don’t like feeling these things. But I’m grateful that I can run to Jesus and He will protect me.

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