The Joy of Being In the Bubble

Why is it that where we need to be is so rarely where we want to be? I had spent the better part of the early morning hours driving to a conference I did not want to attend. Even the lure of seeing an old friend was not enough to make me want to travel that highway. Jesus dictated that trip and everything I heard, everything I learned that day.

The speaker, my friend, shared truth about our bubbles. We all have one, our own personal bubble of space. We determine who gets in and who must stay outside.

We bring some people in our bubble but relegate them to the periphery, they’re in but not all that close. There are those that are in our bubble and we have vacuum-sealed them to our side because we always want them close.

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been  brought near by the Blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

We have been brought near, in a close embrace by Jesus. Dear reader, feel His arms snug around you. Lean in close, close your eyes and listen to His heartbeat.

That very heartbeat once ceased to beat as He literally loved His enemies to death. You were one of those enemies.

Jesus is the Joy, He is the peace, He is the Hope of Advent. He is the All of everything. All we need is Him and in Him.

Our flesh is the enemy and it is evidence of the enmity with the Holy God. It is not the devil but it shows there is one and he is alive and well on planet earth. He knew the way to infect man was not in his soul but through his flesh and he could, by infecting our flesh, infect our soul with sin. He infected us with his insatiable disease of prideful selfishness, and it passed to all men.

Infect and affect the heart of one man and your inflict pain and affect the heart of God.

There was one Man, made of flesh but not one of us. He was touchable by man, yet untouchable and untouched by sin. The enemy try though he might, was unable to infect this Man of flesh with his evil.

This Man in His flesh, abolished the wall of division among Jews and Gentiles but also between the Holy God and all mankind. He brought peace because He is peace.

In Jesus we are all in His bubble and not a one of us is relegated to the periphery. We have all been brought near by His blood. There is no fear of rejection, of being relegated to the periphery or expelled from His bubble because He never rejects those who are His. We might could choose to relegate ourselves to the periphery of His bubble, we live in Him but He is not our life. He is just one small part of our life and we’re still very much in charge, running the show and in control.

Dear precious reader, I cannot speak for you, but I want to live smashed up to Jesus’ side. I want to hear His heartbeat as it beats out a cadence in my eardrum. I want to be so close to Him no one can tell where He ends and I begin. Because He doesn’t end and I don’t begin. It’s all Him and His life.

We keep people, Jesus included, on the periphery of our bubbles, or outside our bubbles because we are afraid. We want so desperately to protect our hearts from hurt, pain. But our own attempts at protection fail, they only build strongholds and make vows we cannot keep.

Surrendering to Jesus is the only way to protect our hearts from anguish. But in Him our hearts will still break, but we’ll just lean in closer, inviting Him into all the hurting places and we will know the Joy and the freedom of His healing. We will find the love and life our hearts long for.

Jesus does not, Jesus will not reject. He will not relegate to the periphery. If you are in Him, indwelt with His Life, you are forever in His bubble. You get to determine the closeness, smashed to Him, so His heartbeat beats out a cadence in your ear. Or you can decide you’re better at being god than God is and keep yourself on the periphery. You’re in but not really, not fully.

The only way to know fully Joy in Advent is by jumping in with both feet, surrendering all to Him.