Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God With Us

As beautiful as the Christmas season is for some, it is a time of heartache, pain and loneliness for others. The expectation of great joy and peace on earth seem to accentuate the opposite experience in many people's lives.
Some people say it is the most difficult time of year - emotionally and mentally. Their hearts are gripped with the overwhelming sense of loss or emptiness - discouragement and despair.
I'm sure many of the people in Bethlehem felt the same way the night that Jesus was born. Life under the rule of Rome, the required census, the long journey for many, the overcrowded city, the realization that Rome was going to demand more taxes. Life was not a pleasant experience, to say the least. People were hurting. I'm sure many people wanted to give up because their journey in life was so hard to walk.
Dear heart, I wish could sit at your table and look into your eyes - right now. I would echo the message the angels proclaimed that night:
“Do not be afraid, for behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy
which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day
in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

They were giving these shepherds a message that would bring great joy - the joy of the reality of the Living God in their 'midst'. He was there with them in the middle of all the discouragement, poverty, hardship, and painfulness of life - He was in the 'stable' of their lives.
I want you to know, HE IS HERE WITH YOU IN THE MIDST OF YOUR DIFFICULTY! Be encouraged! You can have HOPE! The Lord God of heaven and earth IS HERE WITH YOU and He is longing, with an outstretched hand, to help you take the next step. He presence will bring you JOY! His PEACE with surround you! His LOVE will overwhelm you!
The rest of the angels' message must have rung in the hearts of the shepherds all the way to Bethlehem -

can see them dancing all the way to see the Savior in the manger!
Three years ago, today, our 22 year old daughter, Odessa, was skiing with her fiance, when she lost control and hit a tree. She walked off that mountain into the arms of her Savior that night. I know what its like to experience great pain during this time of year. But, dear heart, I want you to know that I also know the joy the shepherds experienced because I knew then, as I know now, that the Savior is with me - and all that is His to give (love, joy and peace) are with Him too.
Lift your eyes to the heavens! Hear the song of the angels and then run to the 'stable' of your heart! May you dance and be filled with hope, joy and peace as you meet Him there.


QuietWaters said...

Dear Friend, your words are finer than gold tested in fire. Your walk through this life (as it is hidden in Christ Jesus) mirrors His humility and unbounding joy. I have seen you at your lowest and highest moments -- and I see a living Faith that spurs me (and countless others) on.
Indeed, let us give glory to God in the highest. He IS our all in all!

Diane said...

Thank you QuietWaters. You are a most precious blessing in friendship and you hold up the standard of a true follower of Christ. Blessings to you and yours this Christmas!

SK and Family said...

Diane, your faith and strength amaze me. Thank you for sharing this...in recent years, I have had an unexplainable fear of death, and reading this helps me to focus beyond it and shake off most of that fear. May God bless you and your family at this time of year!