This Child.....

I wasn’t going to blog again this year but I had an itch today and couldn’t resist. I have been thinking today about this season, the reason we celebrate, or more specifically the reason we have such inspired focus. I find myself at very ordinary moments the last few weeks drawn into the experience of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Some of that pull comes naturally from being a Mom myself, but the gut wrenching reality hits me when I stop in the middle of a song I’ve heard and also sung several times, “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant, and try to absorb what she must have felt. How did she go day to day carrying this gift, this Child that came about through such extraordinary circumstances? Did she have to slow her thoughts down, did she get overwhelmed just thinking about the depth of her role as the mother of the Son of God, the Savior of mankind? I wonder how many nights she found herself overwhelmed with joy and praise to our Father God, and then suddenly in a sobbing puddle of tears knowing one day she would have to watch this blessed Child endure suffering and death on the cross? I can’t fathom it, it is what brings me to tears as I think of her.

Suffering. I think the word gets watered down in this culture at times especially in terms of our economy, our nation’s state of being. I dare say we’ve become way to comfortable using it to describe what we may be going through at any given point in our lives. There are so many scriptures about suffering especially in the New Testament. I stumbled upon this one today and it stuck, practically shouted at me from the screen as I read it.

Hebrews 13:13 (The Voice): If we are honest, we have to admit that coming to Jesus and entering into His church ruins us—at least as far as this world is concerned. If we identify with Him in His suffering and rejection, we become a reproachful irritation to the powers that rule this culture. If we ever felt at home in this world—if we ever sensed that we belonged—then we would wake up one day to discover that we will never be at home again until we enter the city of God. By entering through Jesus, we become citizens of another city, subjects of another king. As long as we are here, we should live as resident aliens longing to go home. Let’s then go out to Him and resolve to bear the insult and abuse that He endured.

If we are truly honest with ourselves and with each other, we have no understanding of what suffering truly is. There is One who does. And He can comfort and provide in ways that nobody else and nothing else can. I believe on some level as she carried him, from the moment Gabriel spoke this promise over her of this Child and His purpose on this earth, she knew. She still struggled with what every Mother does, the pain of childbirth, the joy of watching her baby boy grow, the frustration with him over the typical things that little boys do, the humor and drama that can come with a teenager, and the pride in seeing him become a young man. She then had to witness her Son enduring what nobody has-suffering, torture, death on a wooden cross and all for the sake of US. ALL OF US. I’m stuck in and sunk in this truth now more than ever---HOW WE NEED A SAVIOR! Whatever we are facing today, whatever we must endure we need to grasp the knowledge, the truth that what we experience is for our good and increases our CAPACITY for God! We are strengthened and empowered by our God daily, but we have to choose to lean into Him. It is there for us, but only if we choose to lean into Him.

He knows suffering, He knows our need, and He knows us.

Whatever it is you are seeking to fill that place deep inside you, that aching need, this is your chance. This is your moment, to grasp hold of the Savior of the world. He loves us and you need Him.

I promise He will meet you right where you are.

Christmas Hope and New Year’s Joy to you and yours!

my Ebenezer...

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