BELIEVE.

It was the word etched on the ticket of the doubting boy who traveled to the North Pole in the movie, The Polar Express.  BELIEVE.  He boarded a magical train to experience what he had only hoped could be true.

Our family snuggled up recently to watch The Polar Express, and tears streamed down my cheeks as I watched what seems to be a cute kids holiday flick.  As I sat there taking in all the wonder of this movie, I was reminded why I cherished the book as a child, and why it still stirs such deep emotion in my heart as an adult.  It’s a story that holds the purity of hope.  It expresses a genuine craving, common to all humanity.  The desire that there is still a way to believe in something good.  Something that can be trusted and will not disappoint.

What I want this Christmas (and every other day of the year for that matter) is more than an emotional experience of lights on a tree or the happy exchange of goodies.  I want the gift of spiritual belief.  The gift that enables me to experience Gods’ love  in a way that pushes back my doubts, my fears and my insecurities.  To know that I know that His love is for real.  And it’s for me.  To know that He knows me.  He sees me.  He loves me, still.  To believe this in such a way that it changes me from the inside out, and on every level of my thinking, feeling and living.  Such a love that rights all that is wrong.

We are all invited this Christmas season (and in every life season) to experience belief.  Not because of the glitter of decorations or the warm fuzzies that come with nostalgic music, but because of His concrete, relentless, hold-nothing-back love that is real today, and everyday.  His love that was manifested for the world to see in the flesh of a baby boy-king.  Manifested for the world to receive and believe.

Take a deep breath, and a brief moment.  Push back from the lists, the parties, the busyness of the season, and take in this truth.  And believe – let yourself hope – in the ONE who will not disappoint.

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Romans 5:5

“We have known and believed the love God has for us.” 1 John 4:16