And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Some of my favorite verses to read at Christmas are Luke 2:8-14. Jesus is our Hope – I have come to know Him as mine over the years – and He will bring peace at last, whether here or in the life to come. No more fear. No more pain. Just, no more.
To some, this may sound like escapist mentality. But in reality, the good news of Jesus and salvation are not here to merely provide an “escape” from the ills of this world, although in many seasons an escape may be necessary. He came to earth to walk with us and talk with us, and, thankfully, to experience life through our eyes. His humanity is why we can trust that He hears us and sees us and that He understands at every turn. His divinity is why we can trust that He will make a way of escape when it becomes necessary; and, when it is not, He will give us the strength we need to walk the hard road and to grow from it.
I need peace this season, especially with some of the things in the news these days. I bet you do too. So here’s a song for all of us, because sometimes you have to say it – or sing it – to see it. Let there be peace on earth.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
God doesn’t play, His word is never a joke. When God says He honors His word above His name, there is a reason for it. That certainly speaks to God’s integrity.
God is certainly saying something in this time, in this season. I don’t know what that might be for you, but I have been learning so much lately – so many things manifesting at their appointed time.
My best possible interpretation for all of this is what Paul says in the Scripture verses quoted above. God knows. God’s got this!
Caution: Read at your own risk
Truly, the saying Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true is a wise saying.
I recently did a series on how God sometimes chooses to disrupt our lives, as seen from the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah. The title of the first post was somewhat a prayer. I was seeing so many amazing things, so many amazing stories come alive. I’ve seen God answer prayers in unexpected ways and at unexpected times, but I was totally unprepared for what happened this time.
I had lost my voice sometime in September of last year after a dental procedure. Went a couple months sounding like I had a really bad cold, but I was never sick during that time. Despite exploring different vocal exercises I found on YouTube, in addition to my continuous consumption of warm fluids, tea, ginger candy, and mostly water – as a singer, these were really important – my voice only got worse. So, in early December, about the time of the Disrupt series, I booked an appointment to see an ENT. I was told I had a laryngeal cyst (it was a big, ugly thing in the back of my throat – I got pictures) and advised to schedule surgery – actually a microsurgery, but surgery nonetheless.
There were so many questions on my mind. Continue reading Careful what you ask for
Ever wondered about that?
But why not?
Why not them instead of a younger couple somewhere who had been waiting just 5 or 10 years?
God had His reasons. But as we can also notice, Elizabeth and Zechariah were tried, tested, and found to be true by God. They were consistent both in prayer and in service.
Think of it: “…your prayer has been heard…”
Zechariah had probably served as a priest all his life. So, if anyone understood the gravity of the instructions that were given for baby John, he did. He and his wife would have all the love you could expect to find in elderly folk – all that raw, pure love – without any of the compromise and the lure of the modern-day life. They would be loving enough yet also old-fashioned enough to understand instructions like “… no wine and no strong drink…”
Wow. Continue reading Disrupt… (III): Why Them?
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1 John 5:14
You know, it’s amazing how God sometimes goes out of His way to make things happen for us.
Zechariah was afraid, no doubt, when the angel Gabriel showed up in the temple. I wonder what kinds of thoughts flashed through his mind in that instant, and how many. I am almost certain that one of those thoughts may have been that he would not make it out of the temple alive. I wonder if there was an awkward pause in that moment – if Gabriel observed him for a second before proceeding with his message – or if he made an appearance and just dived in. Whatever the case, Gabriel reassured him: “…Do not be afraid…”
The next thing Gabriel says surprises me somewhat, maybe because I somehow got excited too quickly and skipped ahead too fast in the reading. But, yes, coming back to this verse really surprised me.
…Do not be afraid… your prayer has been heard…
Hold on a minute. “Your prayer has been heard?” Continue reading Disrupt… (II): Your prayer has been heard