In God’s Lap
Runners to the mark … get set … BANG!
And you are off and running in the annual holiday marathon. The winner will be determined on January 2, based on who has
• Accumulated the most points for the best decorations on their block;
• Attended the most holiday events;
• Hosted killer parties; and
• Saved the most money on Christmas sales, while getting everyone the perfect gift.
Bonus points are given for sending traditional Christmas cards, participating in the church choir cantata/musical/play, and helping to feed the homeless. Points are docked for failure to have home-baked cookies, packages sent too late to arrive before Christmas, and acting like Scrooge.
As you run this annual rat race, expect to occasionally have a twinge of guilt about not having time to stop and focus on worshiping our Savior, whose birth we are supposed to be celebrating.Your intentions will be good, and it will continually be on your mind, but you won’t have the time or the energy to make it happen.
But above the din of all the noise and the chaos that has become part and parcel of this time of the year, a still small voice is heard: “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother… is my soul within me.” It’s the voice of King David in Psalm 131:2 (ESV).
If anyone understood the pressure, expectations, and chaos of responsibility and deadlines, David did. As king of Israel, everything landed on his desk. He was the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the government. In addition, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the army and set the spiritual climate for his people.The very welfare of an entire nation rested on his shoulders.
How was he able to quiet his life and soul before the Lord in the midst of all the demands and stress in his life?
He learned to live his life with childlike faith.
He saw himself as a 3- to 4-year-old child, snuggled in his mother’s lap—old enough to be weaned but not yet old enough to care for himself. The cares and demands of life do not touch him as he feels the loving arms of his mom around him, knowing she will protect and care for him.
This childlike faith is what Scripture calls us to embrace. It is characterized by a simple, unquestioning, and accepting dependence on God. It is quietly submitting to and trusting in God.
This faith grows from the foundation of deliberate choices. “…my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and wonderful for me” (Psalm 131:1).
There had been times in David’s life when pride, haughtiness, and self-ambition were a struggle for him. But now he chooses a new path of humility before the Lord and turns his back on the selfish, ambition-filled life. His life is now focused on trusting in God and enjoying His presence.
This time of year gives us a good opportunity to see the clear distinction between all the demands society puts on us to have a Merry Christmas and the Lord’s invitation to step away from the self-elevating, self-exalting, and self-centered aspects of this holiday season. It’s an invitation to choose to climb up into His lap and allow Him to put His arms around us and draw us close to His breast so we can listen to His heartbeat.
Maybe society is on to something when it proclaims that Christmas should be a time of allowing ourselves to be children again, to be lost in the wonder of this season. It is time to embrace a child-like faith and celebrate the wonderful gift of God’s love, grace, and mercy in Jesus to us.
But remember, it won’t happen if you don’t make it happen. So sit down with your calendar and block out some time every day to get alone with the Lord to worship and celebrate Him.
If the stack of obligations staring at you on your desk or calendar is hindering you, take a walk, or jog without your earbuds, or bundle up and go sit in your backyard—whatever it takes to get alone and quiet with the Lord.
Climb into His lap, snuggle down, and listen to His heartbeat for you.