"O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying downand are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue,behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before,and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;it is high; I cannot attain it." - Psalm 139:1-6
It's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! Rehearsals for Christmas performances have started. A friend of mine said it best yesterday:" Yes. I am a church musician. I fa-la-la-la-la in October!"
Last night, I purchased the first of the Christmas gifts for three of the men on my list. I was delighted to find that the little things I found, though trinkets to be sure, will be cool gifts for some guys in my family that I know well.
I also bought a small box of Christmas cards the other day. While we don't typically send out cards to a gazillion folks as some people I know are in the habit of doing, we do send out a few to some folks on our list.
It was the Christmas card list that has me thinking today... Some of the names on that list used to be very close friends. Friends that I spent a lot of time with on a daily basis in the past. Friends that I could tell you everything about, including what they would order from a fast food place back in the day. But time and distance has delegated that those friendships now are a part of nothing more than the Christmas card list....
What was once an intimate relationship has turned to a once a year greeting from one another. We may send a Christmas brag letter to these folks, just to catch them up on all of the news of the past year... but little else transpires to keep the fires of the friendship burning. We may occassionally see one another from time to time and attempt to pick up where we left off, but it really isn't the same.
I hope that my relationship with God doesn't ever become like that. I hope God doesn't ever become a Christmas card list friend.
One of the things that used to scare me when I was sitting in church years ago was when pastors or Christian friends would talk about having an "intimate personal relationship with Jesus." I never understood what that meant. But in a very real sense, this is what I have grown to understand that it means:
God knows me.
God KNOWS me.
God knows ME.
Every single part of me.
My hair-brained moments.
My genius attempts.
The things that make me tick.
The things that make me sick.
The things that make me laugh.
The things that make me cry.
Inside and out.
Upside down and sideways.
He knows ME.
And He loves me!
And you're asking... How do I know that?
The Bible tells me that He sent His Son as a gift. (John 3:16, Romans 3:23)
He sends me little gifts and surprises sometimes that are tailor-made for me.
He answers prayer, sometimes before I have even asked.
And I am getting to know Him in the same way.
What He likes.
What He doesn't like.
What makes Him smile.
What makes Him cry.
What makes Him tick.
What makes Him sick.
What makes Him happy.
What dissappoints Him.
And I am trying to live my life to please Him.
I want to do things that will make Him happy.
And though I know that He is never "surprised" by the things I may do for Him, I still try to do little things that I know will bring Him joy.
I want that relationship with God to stay current. I want to visit with Him in His house regularly. I want to spend time with Him daily... talking, listening, learning from Him. I want to do things that will make Him happy.
And it never fails, He is always giving me the best little gifts of love that show me how well He knows me and that He thinks of me, too.
So, I ask you... What does your Christmas card list look like?