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Lacking Christmas Presence

 

Christmas TreeI decided to hold off on writing anything lately.  For one, I’ve been extremely busy with helping to prepare the opening of Zack & Heather Gates’ next LASATERS® location in Cleveland, TN.

Secondly, every time I think of writing, I draw a blank – not just a blank, but a not-getting-a-single-thing-to-write-about, blank. I think, that now, I know why… it’s Christmas… kind of.

For over the past month I’ve been traveling to Cleveland each week for 3-4 days at a time. I’ve been working with Zack (and sometimes my oldest son, Joriah) on his store build out; the cabinetry, the pergola-styled booth seating, the counter tops, administrative stuff to prep for opening, and what feels like a million other things.

During this time, Christmas quietly approached.  However, this year, it has felt soooo different, hasn’t it? I talked to my wife, Annie, and we both agreed that it didn’t feel like Christmas this year. The Christmas season – you know, the season that brings love, family closeness, occasional shopping for others, Christmas music that brings back that nostalgic feeling of family traditions.  We haven’t seen the lights so much this year. We haven’t heard the music as often. We definitely haven’t seen a lot of good things that we could point out this year that made things feel as warm and fuzzy as previous years.

Why is it not really “Christmas” this year? Was it the election? Is it the constant violence going on in our world? Is it the division that is obvious throughout our country? Is it the economy? Is it this? Is it that? … and so on… Do you ever get tired of trying to figure this type of stuff out? – I do. So, I do what I know works – the only thing that is ever a meaningful, long-lasting solution… I stopped and prayed.

Lord, I want Your presence. I want, I want, I want… ugh. I can’t even start my praying to You without seeking my needs… Even after listening to Francis Chan speak about Your glory this morning, and how I was created for You – You weren’t created for me. Dang, I have it backwards sometimes, Lord. Show me how to live for Your glory, for Your presence. Where You are there is complete fulfillment and satisfaction in all things.

Lord, this Christmas season has felt somewhat ‘blah.’ I know that You desire my presence. I know that when You and I meet that I hear Your voice, that I tend to understand better what it is to be here. Help me to make sense of all the crap going on in my life and in our world. Help me to seek You first, before my own plans or actions, and to acknowledge You in everything I do. Help me to see You this season; to look past the darkness, to see men and women how You see them. Help me to focus on You – You are the only true answer to every unanswerable question. I pray, Father, that you will show me why this year is supposed to be different than previous Christmas seasons. Help me to even lay down all of my traditions so that we can STOP and be with You. 

Friends, if you’re feeling a bit ‘off’ this season, I want to encourage you to simply take a few minutes and pray to the One who created you for Himself. He knows everything about you and simply wants you to know more of who He is. He died for a relationship with you. Take time to think for a minute, why He sent his Son to be born of a virgin, to have nails hammered into the palms of His hands and feet, die on a cross, and then be raised from the dead. It was all for you. It’s hard to celebrate that, but it’s for a reunion, so that you could ultimately enter into a relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

So, as you’re preparing your gifts for others this Christmas season, remember the gift that God sent to you. Picture yourself opening a gift on Christmas morning, and the box is empty. Maybe that’s what you have now, deep inside your heart – emptiness. There is one gift that surpasses all others; that has more meaning than everything else. Let God’s present to you be your most cherished and valuable present this year – His presence. You will be filled with more joy than you can imagine, more peace than you’ve ever had, more freedom than you’ve ever experienced and the complete, unconditional love that your heart needs this year…

Merry Christmas friends. God loves you so very much.

-Mat


About Mat Lasater

    Mat Lasater

    Mat Lasater is the Founder & CEO of the LASATERS®COFFEE, LLC.  He is a Tennessee Licensed Commercial/Residential General Contractor. Mat is married to Annie Lasater, together they have 4 children. Read more at www.matlasater.com.

    Editor’s Note: Articles by this author contains the view points of Mat Lasater, and may not represent the views of LASATERS® Coffee & Tea Franchisees or their employees; or Clarksville Online, our Staff, Contributors, or Advertisers.

    Web Site: http://www.lasaterscoffee.com
    Email: matlasater@gmail.com

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