Finding the Indestructible You in the Christmas Story

**Dear Readers, I know many of you hope to switch off social media and other distractions to focus on Jesus, loved ones, ministry, and rest over the days surrounding Christmas. This is my plan, as well. To support all our efforts, with this final post of 2017 I’ll take a two week break from the blog and will return with new material after the New Year. Press in to Jesus and make His heart your home. May God bless us, every one. Merry Christmas, with mercy, grace, and love, Lori

Have you ever been separated from the things that once defined you?

Maybe it was your career, your marriage, your appearance, or an ability you had, but lost. How lost did you feel? How hard was it to meet new people and to answer the most basic questions like where do you live, or what do you do, or are you married?

There really is no way to understand the naked exposure of losing that something that defines you until it happens. Then, even though you know in your mind that others have gone through it, still, you feel alone.

Once, there was a night janitor where I worked.

He was a hard worker but pleasant, too. His English wasn’t fluent, but we had brief, friendly chats. One night, he said to me, “You are so kind to me. I want you to know that in my own country, I used to be somebody.”

I used to be somebody. I understood what he was saying. Here in America, he works three, sometimes four jobs. He wears coveralls and comes on the job as everyone else leaves. He mops floors, cleans toilets, and takes orders from a young man who could have been his grandson. People seldom speak to him except to point out a spot that he missed or to ask him if he’d mistakenly taken a member’s missing cell phone. Three times they ask him, “just in case.”

In his country, he was a professor at a university, head of the department. He taught Psychology. He enjoyed his subject, his research, and his students but there were limitations on his life and certain dangers. In this country, he is no one; but in this country, his children don’t live in fear.

Sometimes, there are compelling reasons to leave what defines us behind.

Usually, it’s not a venture we take on willingly. There’s a trigger, an inciting incident, a personal tsunami that rolls in. When it rolls out, we’re stripped of that which used to hide the naked truth of our unadorned selves.

Now, here we stand. Just a person. Without credentials or references or photo id’s. We simply are.

It doesn’t feel like enough.

Especially, when others are dressed so well in their degrees and designations, their designer clothes and deeds of ownership, their pedigrees, histories, accomplishments, and their entourage ready to offer testimonials on their behalf. We think about how, in our old country, we used to be somebody. How now, we’re not.

Most of us only enter this condition when compelled by forces beyond our control. No one volunteers to be a refugee. Except Jesus.

Jesus willingly stripped off all that would identify Him as God, as Creator of the Universe, as THE WORD, and became a nobody, just a baby born to some poor couple on a busy night in the city. When He stepped into our story, He came as no one, revealing His true self only to those who took the time to take a second look.

The apostle John wrote one of the saddest passages of scripture in this: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” John 1:9-11 (ESV)

Have you ever experienced that? Rejection by those who used to call you their own? Refusal by those once close to you to acknowledge you. Have you ever become nobody in front of everyone who once thought you were somebody?

Jesus did.

Like the night janitor, He had a compelling reason for leaving everything that outwardly defined Him and outwardly become nothing – His love for and obedience to His Father who loved us so dearly, He sent His only son. He, too, wanted His children to live free from fear.

He showed us that becoming nothing is not the worst thing that can happen to us. Giving up our identity, leaving our home, descending from the heights, this is nothing to fear.

Separation from the Father’s love – that is a fearful condition.

Because Jesus came, we never need to fear that again, if we receive Him. To find our identity in the measures of this world is natural.

To find our identity in our relationship with Jesus Christ is to touch our eternal selves and to know the freedom of living indestructible lives.

O come, o come, Emmanuel! How are hearts long for home!

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    The Conversation

  1. Doris says:

    Thank you for this reminder. Our focus on Him makes all the difference in the world. Have a blessed Christmas with your family and may the new year find your walk with Christ ever deepening. And thank you for your blog ~ I have just discovered it. :0)

  2. My father was my biggest cheerleader, when it comes to my art, since the first time the 2nd Grade Teacher pointed my skill out to him. Yet, Life happened, and I ended up raising children and getting sidetracked from what he hoped would make me rich and famous.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve used this wonderful gift The LORD has given me for Him time and again, and I’ve even made some money, here and there, to help my family when I was a Stay-At-Home-Mom, but never became famous or wealthy from it.

    Even now, when I visit from out-of-state, my Dad still reminds me that I’ve wasted my life not doing what would make me rich and famous. He just can’t understand that I have riches that are stored in Heaven and nothing on this earth… moth or rust or anything… can take them away.

    He doesn’t realize that pleasing my King Jesus gives me more pleasure than new cars and big homes and fancy, designer clothes, and, since he refuses to accept our LORD, he CAN’T understand.

    So, this wordy reply is to say that there are also some of us who could say, “I was supposed to be somebody,” and, now, all we have is Jesus.

    You know, I have come to the wonderful season of life when I realize that Jesus is more than enough, and I feel so sorry for my Dad and those like him. How can anyone make it through this tough world without His Love?

    Thank you for this GREAT blog, wonderful Forever Sister, and I pray you have a blessed, joy-filled CHRISTmas! <3

  3. Bonnie Balderson says:

    Blessings to you and your family. I truly enjoy your blog. It challenges and instructs. Thank you Jesus for all your precious people!

  4. Laura says:

    Lori, This is exactly what I needed to hear at this time! Thank you. I retired from a FT job as a secretary of a mission and I have been at a loss to find the next step. I feel like I have to have answers to the question: ‘So…what do you DO?’ I know I would like to volunteer, but more than that, I want to do more resting and trusting as He simply calls me to follow His lead. It can be a struggle. Thanks for the insights. LG