“For years I had professed an adoration for Jesus Christ, but in my poor state, on that night, I knew it was more habit than a relationship, more culture than worship, more clan than companionship. And I was undone. I wanted to have a real come-to-Jesus. I wanted the experience to be as genuine as possible.”
This place. How often I come here. Desperate for something to happen.
It seems as though it happens to everyone else most easily, those miracles, signs, wonders, and all things “Whoa… Jesus.” I consider, “Is their faith greater than mine? Does God love them more than me?” Especially here in my semi-circle, here among mighty spiritual giants who write poetic and fragrant snippets about the Son of Man that bring me to my knees and grip my soul, leaving me begging, “feed me.”
It is best described in these words, we who covet need to know Jesus and be known — it is as if I pulled my chair up to a table that I wasn’t invited. And no, this is not a sob story. The revelation of relationship is often left to the comparison, which only leaves us feeling fulsome or vacant. “At least I am not like her!” or “If only…”
So here I am again, wondering how to make Jesus more Jesus. Increase my faith, love, peace, hope, happiness, and belief, but not my self-control until January. The season is erupting with lights, fancy, and wonder. Every child’s eye lights and the air is alive with the bouquet of gingerbread, pine, cocoa, chestnuts, and money. Oh, goodness, there it is too. The distractability of things that brings my head from the mystical dream of sugar plums and face plants in reality.
How then can I be both – a spiritual wonder woman and a frugal and conscious consumer, all the while creating the “perfect Christmas” for those I love? The queries I create, the continuing investigation of my own belly button, and the journal entries of how to make this season the brightest, alas, this is my folly. This is the method that creates the madness. This is my own demise, but for Jesus.
Yes, let Jesus be Jesus.
Here is where I find my comfort.
I couldn’t, He did.
I can’t, He will.
Tis’ the season of tradition and what it should be, in my whimsy, and still He came to bring me life, joy, and peace abundant. The formulas to make those things happen is the same as the recipe for making apples. Wait, what?
You read that right.
Here is how to make the season jolly and bright, here is the formula to create the fruit of the spirit and the freedom I crave: Jesus. Not the study of, not the forced adventures, fraudulent prose, not the mistletoe. The whole truth of Christ the Lord.
When I am weak, He is strong.
When I am nothing, He is everything.
An apple tree doesn’t try to produce apples; it just does.
I pray, “Jesus be Jesus.”
Fit Him not inside a tiny shiny box.
Stuff Him not in the toe of a stocking or beneath the tree.
Set Him free from the confines of this human mind and unleash every pretense, unbelief, and wayward political or religious certainty about this Man-God who came, a tiny babe, to set captives free.
Let Jesus be Jesus. Romance waits, a true Love, like no other.
And all the angels sing, “Hallelujah, King of Kings.”
Jami Amerine is the author of the popular blog Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors, where she posts about Jesus, parenting, marriage, and the general chaos of life. She holds a master’s degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Jami and her husband, Justin, have six kids and are active in foster care. Stolen Jesus: An Unconventional Search for the Real Savior is her first book.Leave a Comment
Martha McNeal says
Excellent and praise worthy is the Lord our God and worthy of all of our praise. May we lift Him up to the place He deserves. He is King of kings and LORD of lords. Hallowed be His name in all the earth as it is in heaven, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. Merry Christmas.
Jami Amerine says
Good morning, Jamie Amerine. Thank you for this beautiful message! What really stood out to me were your words “…Son of Man bring me to my knees and grip my soul, leaving me begging, “feed me.” This year is the first in 17 years that I’ve been actively attending church regularly and seeking the Lord with all that is within me. I came to a place in my life where I literally screamed begging God to feed me, and Jesus to save me and redeem me. I sobbed uncontrollably and surrendered myself before Him. In His grace and steadfast love, He gripped my soul and began feeding me. God has been working mightily in my life, transforming me with His refining fire and redeeming me from the sorrows and traumatic pain of psychological disorders that held me bound, chained, and captive for nearly 30 years. In February, He completely healed and delivered me from every one of those strongholds. Oh, hallelujah and glory to God for His saving grace and the healing blood of Jesus!! Since September, I’ve been attending Bible studies, going to church with my husband, finding friendship with strong Christian women, experiencing restoration of relationship with my broken and scattered family, and developing a prayer life like I’ve never known before. I haven’t really celebrated Christmas in 17 years, and my heart and soul have been longing to celebrate my Lord Jesus in ways that truly honor and adore Him because of Who He is. A few weeks ago, I began writing a Christmas card for my family and newfound sisters in the Lord. I began writing every scripture I could think of that describes Who Jesus is, and all the Hebrew names of God I could remember. As I was writing, I asked the Lord to show me more definitions of Him, and I randomly came across a YouTube video by Eric Ludy and Bravehearted Christian Productions called “He Is (The Names of God).” As I watched it, I turned in my Bible to read the words myself, and I wrote every name and scripture reference down. I was overflowing with thanksgiving, exceeding joy, and rivers of tears. My 12 page Christmas card is filled with the whole truth of Christ the Lord. I’m filled with a new Hope and newness of Life in Him that is propelling me forward into each new glorious day. My soul is singing the hymn “how lovely are Thy dwelling places; my soul longs for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh, they sing for joy to the Living God; You are my King and my God.” May His grace and peace be with you. Cristos Gennatai! Doxasete!
Jami Amerine says
Amen. And thank you for sharing. So lovely.