Presence Over Presents

Today’s blog is written by Hannah Critzer. Read as she shares how we only find true satisfaction in God.

Today’s Reading
“His soul shall be satisfied on Mount Ephraim and Gilead.”
-Jeremiah 50:19 

“Our Spiritual appetite can only be satisfied with Jesus.” -Nicky Gumbel.

Would I be satisfied if I were to lose our Christmas holiday decorations, our lights, our presents, our food, even our Christmas parties if I were to just have Jesus? The scripture reference is from Jeremiah in which Jeremiah is trying to teach the readers the promises of God. One of the promises Jeremiah mentions is God wants the readers to be satisfied by the Lord alone. If we were to simply remember Jesus being born and the sacrifice it took our Heavenly Father to give Jesus to the world, would we still be satisfied? Satisfaction, or contentment at the core means being fulfilled. Nothing else needs to be added or given to be satisfied.

My husband and I have been married for a little over 3 years and at the beginning of our marriage I had this goal or drive to make every holiday, especially Christmas, be as festive as it could possibly be. We went to our local dollar store our first Christmas (newly married budgeters) and bought as much Christmas decorations and lights we could fit in our basket. We loved putting them up and decorating our first home together. That being said, I am for Christmas decorations and festivities but let me explain. I have found that the lights, the music, the decorations, even the food of Christmas time does not truly and deeply satisfy my soul. I am always looking for new decorations, and lights for our ever increasing Christmas holiday décor, or searching for the perfect gift that will get old within the year. Does it give me joy? Yes. Does it make me smile and want to bring my friends and family together for Christmas parties galore? Yes, and it still does. I am in no way, shape or form saying I am boycotting Christmas festivities and becoming the Grinch! This is more of a mindset than an actual tangible action. Christmas is a reminder to give my gaze and heart once again back unto the Father and let Him satisfy me apart from any materialistic item or experience. The simplest way I can think of doing that is reading His word and letting scripture melt onto our hearts so that we are reminded once again how much He loves us and wants us to be satisfied in Him. “Look with wonder at the depth of the Father’s marvelous love that He has lavished on us!” (1 John 3:1b)

“The closer one comes to God; the more joy is experienced. Joy based not on circumstances or passing emotion but the joy of the Lord that comes from knowing Him”. -C.S. Lewis

Father, thank you for all the joys and beautiful festivities that Christmas brings. But more importantly than all the lights and sounds of the season, help me turn my heart and attention to Your heart right now and not get caught up in the commercialized hype. Help my true satisfaction be found in You and Your presence. Thank You, Father for sending your Son to us to be truly satisfied from the inside out.