“Blessed be God, the God-of-Our-Fathers, who put it in the mind of the king to beautify The Temple of God in Jerusalem! “Ezra 7:27
I woke up way too early and tossed and turned trying to go back to sleep. In a last ditch effort to get sleepy I went to the kitchen to get some milk. The morning sun had just broken through the darkness. The glowing colors were stunning. I wanted to just sit and bask in the beauty, but I really needed to go back to bed to get my 8 hours of sleep. But, wait, wasn’t that another box I needed to check? Wasn’t it all these holiday boxes I had to check that had me tossing and turning in the first place? So I decided to sit and just watch the morning sky. I simply sat and took it all in. It was glorious…and filled my soul with wonder. So why was sitting and enjoying that so hard? I guess because I didn’t make a box for that.
In this season of gathering and gifting, we spend a lot of time decorating, but not decorating our insides. In fact, we tend to stretch and stress ourselves. What about taking care to refill ourselves as we keep pouring? What fills your soul? God knows even better than you do what fills your soul and makes you beautiful. He knew what was important to His people and Ezra. He arranged to send Ezra to “ beautify the Temple” but it was more about giving the people His teaching. God’s Word is a guide to our best life. He gave it out of a no-matter-what-love for us. Like we love our children or husband or wife, but more…so much more. It’s such a huge amazing love, we can’t even comprehend it. But understanding it by getting to know Him is a life-changer. So why don’t we take time to talk with Him…listen to Him?
Ezra chapter 7 is preceded by the people celebrating the Passover in chapter 6. The Israelites weren’t home. They were in a foreign land with foreign gods; but still they made it a priority to remember God and what He had done for them. “They kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread 7 days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful…”. He is the source of our joy, too. He is the reason for this season. Will you join me in some “interior decorating” this Christmas and make a box for curling up with Your Father? Let’s lean into our Lord and listen to what He has to tell us. Let’s look into His face and tell Him how much we love Him. My heart has already grown a size just considering this.
Thank you for letting me share this with you and thank you for reading it. Will you pray with me?
Oh Dearest Father of Light and Love, I come to You now. Thank You for a lap that is always open for me. Thank You for Your big strong arms always open to receive me. Thank You for wanting to talk to me. Thank You for always listening. Now, I want to hear from You. May I make the time to sit and drink YOU in just like I do that holiday cocktail. What do You have to tell me today? Speak to me, please, for I am listening. Thank You for showing me through Ezra that You are the one who gives joy when we come to you. Thank You for drawing me near just now. I’m making a box for You and I’m looking forward to checking it. Amen.