Some of the folks I've met with are experiencing “firsts” this Christmas season –the first Christmas being single because of death or divorce, or the first Christmas without one or both parents. Some have lost children, jobs, homes, or churches. While any of these would be difficult at any time, this time of year magnifies the longing in our hearts.
Personally, I really thought my life would be really different by this time of 2013. Some of the changes that I had hoped for and worked toward have just not materialized, no matter how hard I have worked for them. Even things that I thought for sure God was bringing into my life did not come in. To be honest, my faith has been rocked more than a little. (Note: If you think this doesn't happen to pastors, think again. Another reason to pray for your pastors and faith leaders who pour out so much into the lives of you and others.)
Yet, the theme for me this year as I read and reflect on the Christmas story is this: Even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations, God shows up.
If you are in a place of desperation or darkness – or both, let’s commit to putting one foot in front of the other just for today. Be honest with God about how we are doing, and then breathing out the anxiety and tension we’re feeling. We may need to do this a LOT in the next few days. But we will not give up.
Jesus said “Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.” (Matthew 6:26 VOICE)
My fingernails are splittig and breaking, but I am holding onto this verse with everything I have left. As my friend Dar reminded me last week “You’re a daughter, not bird! God is going to take care of you!” And so it is for those of us who believe. We are children, not birds, and God cares for us deeply. We must rely on him to take care of us.
Listen to the words of the encouraging ones in your life and hold on, friends. Change is just around the corner. I am counting on that!