This month, I had a dream that I gave birth to an infant son six weeks prematurely. It was a smooth and easy delivery, but when the doctor held up my son so I could see him, I was distressed about his small size. I expected him to be strong and healthy, but he seemed so small and helpless. How would I ever care for such a tiny, fragile baby?

I had no experience in raising a baby, so I found myself going into one store after another, looking for baby items. I kept searching for what I thought I would need, but could not find anything. Even the store clerks were unable to help me and had bewildered looks on their faces. I left the stores, totally discouraged. The only item I had found was a stuffed animal. I hadn't even found diapers. How would I ever care for my infant son?

While shopping, I had left my son in the front seat of my car in his car seat. The baby was contentedly sleeping, and didn't seem to even notice the cold. In reality, I would not have left a baby unattended. What was I thinking?

As I thought about the dream, God revealed to me what my relationship with His Son, Jesus, had become like. It had been about six weeks since I had spent any quality time with Jesus. That time frame illustrated how I had prematurely distanced myself from the Son of God, just weeks before His birth. I found myself getting caught up in the busyness of the Christmas season, spending less time with Jesus and more time shopping, baking, and attending "holiday" gatherings and programs. Jesus had become small in comparison to the things of this world, which I had been spending too much time with. How did the things of this world come to take precedence over my relationship with Jesus Christ?

In my dream, I frantically searched for products to buy so that I could take care of my infant son. All too often, I have searched for things in this world to use to take care of my own needs or the needs of others. The world could only offer temporary satisfaction, and many of the things I use need to be replaced. The world's stuff could not take care of me or be used in caring for the Infant Jesus. Why had I wasted my time trying to find material things to use to take care of Baby Jesus?

When Mary delivered her first born, Son, Jesus, God provided her with everything she would need to raise Him. Only God could show me how to care for His Son, so I asked Him to help me, and this was what God placed on my heart: What I really needed to do was take time every day to kneel with the wise men at the birth of the Holy Infant. I had left Jesus in the cold; my relationship with Him had become a reflection of the season: cold, and growing colder. The only way I could rekindle the fire of His Spirit within me was to spend more time with Him in prayer, in His Word, and in fellowship with other believers.

I was neglecting the Christ Child. Infants depend on adults to nurture and take care of all of their needs. I was not taking care of any of the Christ Child's needs. However, God, in His faithfulness, gave me a dream and showed me how to care for His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.

Are you taking care of the Christ Child? Are you feeding Him (talking to Him in prayer), nurturing Him (reading His Word), and meeting His needs (sharing His love with others)?

May you be blessed as you care for the Christ Child this Christmas. Let us rejoice at His birth!

Copyright © Marcee Ekstrum, 2003. All rights reserved.

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