DAY 13: Life

Scripture: John 1:1-18

 

I recently met Hazel. Her parents introduced us about 12 hours after her birth. Then a couple weeks later I took her parents a meal. They aren’t sleeping much and appreciated food they didn’t have to prepare. Truth be told: though I love her parents, I really wanted to spend time with Hazel. I’ve learned that when you bring food to tired (and wonderful, by the way) parents, they relish the chance to let you hold and gaze at their baby. And I did … for over an hour. I stared at her tiny fingers, gently rubbed her plump cheeks and marveled at her soft and squeaky baby noises. Only when her belly started growling did I reluctantly relinquish her back to her mother.

To no surprise, however, a number of things never crossed my mind. I never considered kneeling to worship her. I placed no hope or dependence on her life as a means to save mine. I spent no time pondering why she would choose to be born.

Yet at the thought of Jesus’ birth I do all those things. I worship. I reflect on His birth and life as the only hope for my sinful life. And I know His reason for choosing to come to earth.

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

Jesus burst into a world of death as the Life to lay down His Life to give those who believe in Him eternal Life.

Not only was His life for my life His purpose, Life goes to His essence. In fact if Jesus chose a nickname it might even be Life.

“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

As I’ve pondered those verses the past few days, I’ve not only seen but felt the richness of His life more fully.

The obedience of His righteous hands

His innocent, brilliant, imaginative mind

His sometimes thundering and sometimes tender voice

Vast shoulders that literally hold together the world

Powerful, darkness-breaking arms

Patient ears that listen to my dreams, sobs and brokenness

The breathtakingly generous goodness of His heart

All of that beauty and life flowing throughout and erupting out of one person. Yes indeed, He and He alone is Life. And by His grace, He is my life.

I wrestle to stay in that place though. I look for life other places. Family. Work. Friendship. Possessions. Accomplishments. Those make great gifts for us to enjoy in our lives. But they become deadly poisons when we try to make them our primary hope and joy. Opening Jesus as a gift to occasionally pull out of the box won’t work either. We’ve all tried and failed.

Only with Jesus as our very life (Colossians 3:4) do we have any shot at the abundant life Jesus came to give.

-Kathy Harrelson

 

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