I wonder how close you are to Bethlehem today? Right now! Right where you are, in the middle of a million things, a million thoughts, and a million worries? In the middle of COVID, and its conundrum of threat, fear and anxiety that’s come and nestled quite rudely into our Christmas celebrations? I wonder, can you reach out and touch the town sign that says its name, “Bethlehem,” or are you feeling veered off, lost and off track? Has the perplexity and complexity of it all gotten in and taken your hope, your joy and your peace down the garden path?
See it there then today, with your soul eyes. “Bethlehem!” Ah yes, there it is….
I wonder if you remember or even know the Hope born there that night in that crude stable, is as close as your heartbeat? Does the awesome gift of Hope from God resonate and radiate within you and from you? Does it affect your everyday living? Your thinking? Can you feel the depth of its magnitude deep in your soul, or have you sunk deep into that horrible conundrum of busy-ness and COVID chaos?
What a sweet gift the baby “Jesus” presented to the world in that wretched manger of straw surrounded by everything ‘less than perfect!’ Grasp, if you will, that picture of Hope for a broken and imperfect world! Not a COVID world but a sin world! Then reach out to receive a fresh touch for you! Thing is, it’s so much more than Hope isn’t it? Hope brings a joy and a peace of mind and a really gentle hug from God to message us that it’s ok. Everything really is ok”, and in that “million and one things” to do list, His gift of Hope is the stable banner at the top to get you through.
Hope in Jesus, our Saviour? Yeah, it’s our salvation for the soul of us in these crazy days and the help for our day ahead, no matter what’s on the plate.
Because He came, Hope is our gift to receive and recycle to keep on giving. So you see, it’s all well and good! The birthing event of our Savior in Bethlehem, even though so long ago is really very close because the Hope He gave to the world that night, is His promise to us and still ours to receive! It’s a sweet gift that keeps on giving to our soul time and time again. So So amazing too, is that as we can share it with others so they can be brought closer to Bethlehem in their journey of chaos, broken and hopeless. When Hope wells up within, don’t underestimate the power of it within your circles of influence! It’s contagious! It’s lovely and it’s peaceful! Oh so peaceful!
So ’tis the season to be jolly?
Wow! Is it really? Is it really a season of jolly and joyful or do we find ourselves in a scurry of just clear crazy? With so much going on in this COVID world and so much loaded on the ‘Good-Will’ ‘to do’ platter, we might just find there’s too much conundrum on our own plate. How then do we quiet ourselves amidst this complete and complex craziness of so much of everything to both ponder and accomplish? This year, it’s not just the hubbub of Christmas festivities but other things too, other issues that creep in from the far corners of your world! They sneak in like creepy shadows, without invite, yet loudly proclaiming their presence as they parade dauntingly through the mind. Intimidating every step of this way and that and every way in between, they rant on and on and on, about what they came to do. Things that go bump in the night and make sleep a thing of the past! Anxiety here, a tension there, a bit of strife and disagreement and our old enemy is boldly on deck, ready to snag us with a host of issues to distract from even seeing the ‘Merry’ in Christmas! So ok, ’tis the season to be jolly but sometimes the “Merry” is so far removed from our life that we even fail to find the “Christ” of Christmas.
Remember Him? He’s the Saviour of your day! Your life, your week, and your busy season of life. So, ok, beautiful one, as His child, whatever season you’re in, you can know He’s walking with you! Right along beside! So whatever you do right now, collect your messy thoughts and usher your busy, crazy world right into His sweet and powerful presence for some healing and some quiet. So now, there you are with your whole heart, smack dab in the presence of your amazing God, Maker, Creator, Savior, and Lord. What now? Well, just savour the Saviour and find His grace enough to dissipate those fears hidden in the shadows of that darkness! Yeah, You’ll find enough peace there for the hectic, enough mercy there for miles you’ve trod, enough healing to rejuvenate the weary! You’ll find enough grace there too, for the moment, enough Light there for road and enough hope there to keep you on keeping on! Oh yeah, and that ‘goodwill “To Do” platter? Well, relax with it, it will be full and running over, just like your heart of joy and gratitude to the One who cares so deeply for your beautiful soul. So, beautiful you, while COVID runs crazy and the busy gets up and running wild in the days ahead, take a time out to get alone with the One who knows you upside and downside and confirm with the Psalmist as he pens in Psalm 97: 10 b, “He protects the lives of His godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.”Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:: 28 – 30~k
So it begins! Another day, with a lot of “What If’s, What For’s, How Come’s, Why Now’s, Could I’s, Should I’s, I Will’s, and I won’ts! Oh yeah, the questions come a calling .. just parading through the beginning of a new day, a new season, a new week, a new start, like they seek a stage to act on, just like they always do! They leave us guessing on the next move, the next step, the next moment and the next turn. The why’s and the wherefore’s can be so daunting really, can’t they? They can be so overwhelming for our “oh so human” frailty and fragility. Thing is, when they overtake us, they just rob the joy right out from under our noses and take control of our life. Oh but, our Lord delights in direction. He delights in giving it and He delights in our seeking his face for help on that next step. The Psalmist in Psalm 32: 8 knew it all too well didn’t he when he penned our Lord’s words?
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8
Psalm 37:23-24 –
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
So yeah, He truly does set us stepping off in the right direction and oh He wants so much to dole out a dab of extra grace for those steps and wrap us up tightly in His ever-loving love. So, rather than looking at the obstacles then, let’s look into His gentle, tender face and into tender eyes that saw you from the cross and beyond. Caring, sovereign eyes that see all and stamped His approval on you before your creation. That’s why you’re here. He delighted in you and saw the potential and said it was good. So for all your daunting questions and thoughts, yeah, for sure, He’s got those too. He’s got your tiredness, your weary bones, your aching heart, your lonely soul, your rejection and he’s got all those relentless questions. He’s working them out, so let’s seek His advice on our new beginnings, new days and new weeks and let’s find healing in the sweet name of Jesus and in His sweet presence let’s find peace for new beginnings.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5: 7
” I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”