What a curveball!
When I started this challenge, I certainly didn't think I would catch Covid. But here we are on day 5 of Covid and day 11 of our Christmas Challenge. Confined to my bedroom, Christmas plans and our family celebration canceled. A tad bit sad, but then God, right!?
Again this morning, I watched Beth Moore's bible study, Immanuel, and my heart changed.
I'll try to keep it short. For those doing the daily challenge, WAY TO GO! (Don't forget there's a prize for doing all 12!)
Listening to Beth's study – yes, I feel like I know her, and we're on a first-name basis - I understood the meaning of God with us in a new, fresh way. One of the most beautiful things about Scripture to me is that it's alive and active and always teaching.
In part one, Beth talked about God's love and how genuinely unfathomable it is. Unfathomable, Girls.
As a baby, God sent His one and only son in human flesh with sweet, tiny feet and tiny hands, hands, and feet He knew would be nailed to a cross.
Who does that? (Beth asked.)
I have to echo it. Who does that?!
If you have a child, it takes very little to be completely overwhelmed with that fact. It is a gift we will never comprehend. This beautiful, sweet, innocent baby was sent to bear the world's sin. My sin.
It is a gift. We either accept fully or don't.
Anyway, the with-ness part. A word Beth made up that fits perfectly for the description she gave. I won't do her teaching justice in this post, here's the link if you want to watch it. 😊
Beth talked about how we witness from God's with-ness.
Read that again.
We witness from God's with-ness.
Throughout the Bible, God says, I will be WITH you. Old Testament and New.
Not only did He give His life and then His Spirit to come live IN us, He is with us.
When we surrender and go all-in with Jesus when we have a sacred place with Him that is ours and only ours, we cannot help but witness from His with-ness.
It's like that shirt I want that says, "Warning. I may start talking about Jesus at any time."
When He's part of us, we can't help but talk about Him. Because He is with us, we manifest His light and His love to a world that is growing dimmer by the day.
Please don't grow weary, Sweet Ones. HE is with you.
It is hard here. I know. My heart is heavy for so many of you grieving today and missing your loved one. I'm praying for God's arms to wrap you up tightly, for you to feel His peace and comfort.
Immanuel. God with us.
It's not a promise of prosperity or blessing. Instead, it is an anchor for our souls. It is peace and strength and joy when there should be none. It is divine evidence that He is here living in and through us.
What a gift, girls!?!
Merry Christmas! There is reason to celebrate wherever today finds you. That baby, that precious baby that came naked and helpless into this world over 2,000 years ago, again, with tiny feet and hands, was a miracle. But the miracle wasn't only His birth; it is everything that came after. It is the hope of Heaven.
Breathe deep. Sit with Him and let Him be your reason today.
I love you SO much! ❤💚❤💚
Now, for your Day 11 Challenge.
Happy Christmas Eve, Beautiful Ones.
Thoughts of you swirled through my mind as I started to write, envisioning many of you running to the store for last-minute gifts. In shorts nonetheless for those in Texas.
I pictured you baking pies and getting a wonderful meal prepared for family. For some, your house is bustling with the joy of Christmas. Beautiful lights and trees. Christmas songs playing a little louder than usual. The smell of food and candles burning.
For others, grief. You are doing everything possible to hold it together. Some of you are missing loved ones; others are anxious—some lonely.
Today, I'm asking you to be honest with God. Tell Him everything you're feeling. Thank Him for the blessings. Ask Him to help you feel held. Ask Him to love through you.
Jesus is the Reason. If you're in a season of joy, let the reality of His birth be the abundance in that joy. If you're in a season of pain, let His birth be your hope. Fix your eyes on what is above.