[e-Devotionals] 2001-01-10 - Can You Hold the Baby?

Luke 2:27-28 (NLT) That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God…

One of my most treasured memories of my children when they were babies is the time I spent simply holding them. With my first child, the first time I held her in the delivery room was a frightening moment. I can remember thinking, "what if I drop her, how do I hold her head, what if I do something wrong" and so forth. Finally a nurse placed the newborn into my arms and all my walls of fears came tumbling down. Behind the walls were a great peace and love as I walked around the delivery room, marveling at this miracle. Late at night, I would gladly wake up with the babies and feed, rock and just hold them.

This past Christmas Eve, I was looking at a Nativity scene. I wondered if anyone had held the Christ child besides His parents. Then I asked myself, and I hope you will now ponder with me, “Would I have held the baby Jesus?” Close your eyes and try to image back to Bethlehem, to where you see the Savior and Hope of the world, the Christ child lying in a manger. Would you pick Him up and hold Him? Are you feeling a little afraid and vulnerable now, as you think about that? I am.

Today do we fully grasp what it means to hold onto Christ? Can we let all our fears fall aside? Can we become vulnerable with Jesus by surrendering our lives completely to Him? Or do we just pat the Baby on the head and let Him squeeze our finger, never picking Him up? What are we afraid of? We can’t drop Him, because He will never let us go. We fear that we will lose a certain group of friends, we fear where God will lead us, we fear being mocked by our peers, and we fear the unknown. We fear what God may ask us to give up if we completely let go and hang onto Him. But I promise you that anything God wants you to give up will be replaced by something far greater.

So where are you in the manger scene? Are you outside the barn, looking in at the baby Jesus and wondering just what He is all about? If so, keep hanging around the barn and I hope you will step on in some day. Maybe you are in the barn: You believe in Christ as your Savior, but you have not fully surrendered your life to Him. Perhaps you are standing at the edge of the cradle with your hands reaching toward the Baby, but you are still overcome with the fear of what Jesus may ask of you. Perhaps you feel like I do sometimes. My arms are under the Baby, one hand on the back of His head, one under His back, ready to pick Him up. I just have to trust Him a little more, let down my guard a bit more, have an ounce more of faith before I lift Him up and fully surrender to Him. Or maybe you are like the few who have fully surrendered, and you are walking around the barn holding the Baby, totally committed to Him. I do not know where you are, but I do know that God wants you to move forward and take the next step toward fully embracing the Baby. Can you embrace the Baby?

Father- increase in each of us our desire to move forward toward full devotion to You. Help us to trust You with our lives and to let go of the areas in our lives that are keeping us from taking the next step toward holding You and being held by You. In Christ’s precious name, Amen.

David Massey