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TRUST JESUS TODAY
This is a letter I wrote to an unknown person I had been praying for. After it was written, God directed me to give it to a co-worker. My gut was that it wasn't for him, but he was the conduit. On my birthday Dec. 27th, God blessed me with the knowledge of who this letter helped, and the miracle of this letters journey. I'm posting it, because I have no idea how to express or punctuate Mary and Joseph's dialogue with God. I would like help with that.
Let me start by saying that I have no idea who you are. I don't know your gender or where you live. I only know that a God who loves you very much has placed it on my heart to pray for you!
My prayers tonight are for someone who has lost their job, or perhaps a loved one. Maybe you're pain is over a separation between you and someone close to you. Whatever that loss is, it is being held up right now by the grace of God as He has asked me to intercede. I'm no one of worldly importance, but I take obedience to the call of God very seriously. If you are feeling unworthy, humiliated, or like you just want to hide. These words may be for you...
My heart is heavy as I again remember my own pain, and the sense of loss I felt as I mournfully took my first steps on the journey you are about to take. The feelings of confusion, the sense of betrayal, and the weight of so many unanswered questions spun around in my mind until I could no longer address them one by one and I settled for the numbing comfort of despair. What seemed unbearable at the time, did indeed appear to be a "blessing" dressed up by the producer of a TV reality show. (Certainly, not by my God.)
In this, you are not alone. It doesn't seem right or fair that in this season of celebration you should receive news of loss, uncertainty, and perhaps fear. But the original Christmas story didn't take place in warm houses decorated with lights, or filled with the sweet smells of cinnamon, apple cider or eggnog. It was a time of great hardship for many people. The governor had decreed that each man should return to his hometown so that a census could be taken (for a political agenda.) No one was asked if they had the time or means to take such a journey, and no passes were given out for those who found it inconvenient, or were faced with serious health issues, or ceremonial obligations. They were simply told, "to go."
This journey was tiresome at best, and nearly impossible for some. If anyone had cause to complain, and deserved answers from God, Joseph and Mary certainly did.
"God, I look like a fool taking Mary as my espoused wife when she is great with child. Do you have to parade me in front of all these people as well?"
Mary also cried out to God, "I'm carrying your son, did you have to pick now while we must journey for the census, and if I must travel, did it have to be while I'm pregnant, and be bounced up and down on a donkey?"
"God, Mary is ready to deliver. Everywhere I go they tell me "we have no room for you"; what kind of a husband must I look like?"
"God, I can no longer stand. My baby, Your son, a king is about to be born! Would you allow him to lie in a manger? His first touch will be that of rough straw, his first smell that of dung. How could this be your will for us?"
Once Jesus had been born, still tired and confused, Mary continued to question God saying, "These visitors are nice, but what I really want is sleep. The gifts brought by the travelers are certainly fitting of a king, but what are we going to do with gold, frankincense and myrrh? You know what I'd like more than anything right now is a bath, fresh diapers, and some balm to sooth my swollen bottom and breasts."
Mary had a lot of valid questions considering all that God is. Instead of answers, she was given three things to hold onto. Her conviction that in spite of all circumstances she served a God who loved her, a husband who had shown unconditional love , and a son now born that meant more to her (and to us) than life itself.
When Mary finally rested, fully satisfied with what she did have, her mind was at peace. The questions once so important, faded as the answers no longer mattered.
In fact, today we can look back on what history has written, and clearly see why God made some of the decisions He did, and how the answers to many of Mary's questions would not have brought her closer to the comfort and reassurance she was desperately seeking. (God had to keep their location a secret to keep them alive. The wise men couldn't go back to the king, as he would have had them killed, and the "useless" gifts they brought would become Joseph and Mary's financial support while hiding Jesus from King Herod's decree to kill every male child under two years of age.)
Mary and Josephs only chance for comfort during that difficult time was to be content not knowing why, or how, but to simply rest in Who. God is not a man that He should lie. What He says, He will do. God and His Word are timeless. What He spoke thousands of years ago is still true today. Every promise is "yes" and "amen" in Christ Jesus. No expiration date!
These are difficult words to hear today, but keep them. When you are ready, read them again. God is waiting. His arms are open and will remain so for as long as it takes for you to hear Him calling. He's not waiting for your pain to be gone, for you to feel happy or stop asking questions. He simply wants you to know that He is already present in your life, and if you would allow it, He would love to reveal His purpose and plan for the next chapter.
On His sons birthday, there was "no place for him". Today many of us are busy making preparations for The Christmas celebration, but will we make room for Him?
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