A Hiding Place.
We all spend a lot of time hiding, don’t we? There are so many things that we try to hide from the gaze of others and this can make ‘family time’, especially Christmas time, quite stressful and difficult. There are the awkward questions that, even well-meaning relative, are asked ‘so, have you got a boyfriend yet?’ and you wonder how to answer it; the truth might be, ‘no, but there is a girl that I really, really like’, but that’s not something you want to share in front of Nana over the turkey and sprouts! Maybe it’s a situation like this, your sister is given the most gorgeous new sparkly dress which you just know will look a hundred times better on you, but you have to politely thank Aunty for the menswear sweater you just unwrapped. Whatever the situations you find yourself in over this season, it can be really tough if you cannot be completely you.
As many of us celebrate the birth of Jesus, it maybe that a sense of foreboding, fear and anxiety is rising up within you and it can be so tiring to carry those feelings and you maybe just simply dreading the season because you know you will end up completely knackered at the end of it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
In one of the German translation the word used in ‘erdrückt’ which mean crushed, maybe that is how you feel, the crushing weight of having to pretend to be something that you are not, the crushing weight of hiding your true self.
It’s a pretty familiar scripture passage but one that is important to remember over the Christmas season. If you are carrying that burden of hiding who you are, the place you can go to rest is Jesus. The absolute most fabulous things here is that you don’t have to hide when it’s just you and Jesus, not only do you not have to hide, but you can’t hide, it’s as simple as that.
Oh, sure, sometimes when we are told that God sees everything we do and knows everything about us, we see it almost as a threat to get us to stop doing something, but it should very seldom be taken that way. No, God (and therefore Jesus) not only knows everything about us, but created us the way we are, in order to be loved by him. So rest this Christmas, not only in Jesus, but in the love that He has for you.
Maybe you will need to carve some time out of the days specifically to do this, maybe at night before you go to bed, maybe you can retreat while the Queen’s speech is on (unless you want to watch it!) or if you can’t find opportunity to actually leave the room for a few minutes, maybe retreat in your head while everyone else is watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special.
It’s also worth remembering that almost as soon as He was born, Jesus went into hiding from those who wanted to bring him harm. So not only will you be resting in someone who loves you and someone who you can be real with, but also someone who knows what it’s like to hide. How wonderful, that our Saviour has experienced everything we have, maybe over different circumstances and for different reasons, but he really does know how you feel.
I pray that you will find time this Christmas to rest in Him, to know His love, and that through this you will find His strength will see you through the season.
I genuinely wish all of you a really blessed Christmas and fun-filled New Year too.
A Hiding Place.