We want to wish you a very blessed Christmas. As Lynne and I reflect on Immanuel – God with us, we have been challenged this year to remember that God is indeed with us in all the messes life brings us. You see, we’ve had some messes this year. But in it we have learned to live even more in tune with the very idea we teach, that Immanuel-God with us, means we can be okay even when circumstances around us are difficult. And it turns out that these trying circumstances draw us closer to our Savior.
Among our numerous trials, we confess to one particular ongoing challenge. As we write, nearly everything we own is in storage. For the last 7 months we have been without a place to call home. We’ve seen about 50 houses, lost three offers due to multiple offers, and a fourth we loved sold before we could make an offer.
We are in the final stages of purchasing a home but have been delayed due to legal issues with the property. We had hoped to be in our home by Christmas, but it will be at least February before a move becomes reality.
Things just aren’t working according to our plans! Some dear friends are graciously hosting us in their lower level, with a view of a lake, but it’s far away from family, work and friends. So we went to the local thrift store and bought a few small items for decorating, looking for some holiday cheer. At least Alexa knows our Christmas playlists!
In this small way we are drawn with new compassion into the stories of many in the world who have no place to call home. And we’re reminded, in Luke 9:58, our Savior had “no place to lay his head.”
You see, Jesus didn’t promise us the security of a place on earth to call home. In fact, he even suggested that the priority we place in the comforts of home can actually be a detriment to following him and sharing his love. To follow Jesus means we place our security in our eternal destiny with him!
So as Lynne and I prepare to be homeowners again, we are challenged to make our home a center for ministry. To make it a place we share generously and own loosely. A place where the Love of Jesus shines brightly. We invite you to pray with us that 2019 will be an unprecedented year for all of us to grow in the deep sense that, through Christ, God is indeed in us and with us. He is our home.
Peace on earth,
Jim and Lynne