Light…Hope…Life

What Christmas Is All About

Reblogged from Rest & Chaos

It always fascinates me to think about the humanity behind the characters of the Christmas story. It is such a familiar story that we can forget that these were real, messy, human beings just like you and me. They had fears, doubts, and worries. They made mistakes. They lost their temper, yelled at their kids, and forgot to make time to pray. Their lives were chaotic and filled with adversity, just like our lives can be.

But despite these things, they chose to simply say “yes” to God. And by choosing to follow and trust in Him, God used them for great things.

When my first son was born, I remember holding him and being overwhelmed with the enormous responsibility. Here I was, barely an adult myself, and now I was accountable for keeping this little baby alive. I was completely overwhelmed by the task given to me.

I wonder if as Mary held onto baby Jesus, she ever felt the tremendous responsibility of raising God’s son. And yet, in reality it wasn’t up to Mary to raise him. Mary was to do her part by trusting and obeying God. But it would be God who would guide her and help her the entire time.

She had every reason to worry though, for her circumstances were far from ideal. She had a child out of wedlock in a culture that stoned women for that, she had her first child in a dirty stable, and then she had to leave her homeland and live in Egypt due to the King ordering the murder of all children under 2. If she would have just looked at her circumstances it would have been easy to feel defeated.

While Mary didn’t have all the answers, she trusted the One who did. And so can we.

Although it can be hard to trust God when we don’t have all the answers, because we can’t see how it will all work out. We get lost in our worried thoughts and tangled up in the maze of “what if’s”.

  • We think about our rebellious child and wonder what if they never come home?
  • We look at the stack of bills and wonder how all of these will get paid.
  • We try to love and serve our spouse, but then we get into another nasty fight.
  • We try so hard to be a good parent, but then we lose our temper and scream at our kids again.
  • We hear the diagnosis from the doctor and wonder what if I don’t make it to the next Christmas?

We look at our circumstances and see how far they are from ideal. And we hang our heads in defeat. We get crushed by the storms we are facing. Lost in the dark. Feeling like there is no hope. Like there is no end to the pain. Like there is no way out.

And we want to give up.

As I was writing this God reminded me of one of His names, Jehovah Jireh, which means “The LORD will provide.” And as I read more about the meaning behind the word “jireh” I found that God introduced himself as Jehovah Jireh in Genesis 22, which is the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. In this context, God was not providing for needs like shelter, food, or clothing, but for the greatest need a person could ever have . . . LIFE.

Jesus came into this world as our Jehovah Jireh. He came in order to provide for our greatest need. Our need for LIFE. He came to secure our eternal lives with Him in Heaven, and to bring hope for our life here on this Earth.

Jesus came into this world to show us that He can work miracles in far-from-ideal circumstances. He came to bring light, hope, and love into our dark nights. He came to be our shelter from the storm.

That is what Christmas is all about:

To celebrate that Jesus was born as Jehovah Jireh to bring us HOPE and LIFE.

No matter how hard things are God is there. He will provide.

Don’t give up!

Call out to Jehovah Jireh. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the LIGHT that brings HOPE and LIFE!

This Christmas Eve if you light a candle, look at the flame and remind yourself that Jesus came as the light of the world to give you life!

Thank you, Jesus, for Christmas!

Thank you for entering less than ideal circumstances in order to show us that you can work any situation out for the good of those who love you. Thank you for bringing light to our dark nights. For bringing hope to our desperate hearts. And for bringing love and peace to our chaos.

We are grateful for that first Christmas day when you began the long journey that would provide LIFE for our weary souls. Help us to trust you, even when we don’t understand. Help us to take our eyes off our circumstances and fix our eyes on you. Help us to stare at your light so that the darkness goes away.

May you fill our hearts with joy, hope, peace, and life this Christmas.

In Your Precious Name

AMEN!

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