This is the advent season. We are counting down the days to Jesus’ Birthday. Admittedly most of Christmas is around children waiting for a jolly generous gift giver in a red suit. But advent reminds us that Jesus’s impending birth is near. And advent helps us remember the details surrounding His birth. From the tax decree to the angels heralding his birth, there is much to read about the days of preparation for His birth. Joseph was preparing to pay his taxes, Mary was preparing to travel during the last days of her pregnancy, and Jesus was preparing to be born. Even the angels were preparing. And God was continuing His preparations. From the manger to the star to the holy birth in extreme conditions, all was part of the preparation of what was to come.
We’re making lots of preparations for Christmas. Everything must be just so in order for things to be pulled off without a hitch. But I’m reminded that it seems to me that Jesus’ birth was anything but trouble free. Would I have wanted to ride a donkey at 9 months pregnant? Would I have wanted to give birth in a barn? Wouldn’t I have wanted everything to be just right for my baby? And just right for my health and safety?
But Jesus is about to arrive on the scene. He’s about to begin His short years on earth. He’s about to change everything. From the time He is born to the time He dies, everything changes everywhere He goes. When is a King ever born in obscurity? No silver spoon here, for He is destined for a cross and a grave.
How is your Christmas going? How is the life you were meant to live coming along? Where is the light in your darkness, the festivities in your hardship, the love in your loneliness? It’s tough for you, God knows it. Things are not like you want them to be. And try as you might, just as Joseph knocked on the door of the inn and found no room, you have found no relief. You’ve prayed, you’ve hoped, you’ve even tried to work things out yourself. You’ve griped, you’ve begged, you’ve stomped your foot. But things have not changed and still you are stuck with a tarnished holiday full of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. You find it hard to believe that you are in the situation you find yourself in. You did all the right things and yet you find yourself face to face with rejection, humiliation, depression and fear. None of those things are fit for a child of the King, yet you are there. And you are wondering if it will ever change, if prayers will ever be answered and if God ever really cares.
Oh beloved, this is your advent. Jesus is about to arrive on the scene of your desperate situation. He’s going to open the door of your heart and let the warmth and beauty of all He is come and make things new. And He comes no longer a babe in a manger, but a risen King and Lord. He comes with the response to the enemy’s taunts, the answer to your heart’s desires and the Light for your darkest moments. Nothing in all creation can keep God from changing everything. Just His presence changes your heart and mind. All His promises are being fulfilled for you whether you see them or not. Just as Caesar August sent out a decree in those days, God has sent out a decree from the foundation of the world.
It may look bleak but look beyond the now. It may seem impossible, but keep your eyes on Jesus. It may be that others say it’s hopeless, but you are looking for Jesus’s promises to be fulfilled. You will run and not crawl, you will leap and not fall, you will rejoice and not weep, you will praise and not pout. You have nothing to fear and everything to rejoice about as you wait in anticipation for Jesus to arrive and make all things new.
God loves you. He loves you with an everlasting love. It never fails, it never gives up and it never runs out on you. And He’s for you. He’s on your side making sure that all things work together for your good. You can trust Him, you can praise Him, you can thank Him and you can rejoice in Him not just at Christmas but every single day of your life.
John 12:46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
Ephesians 1:18-20 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.
Psalm 106:12 Then His people believed his promises. Then they sang His praise.