Monday, December 23, 2013

Feeling the Crunch

Like a woman in labor, Christmas comes.  Ready or not, it descends and about now a mother feels it is all up to her to make it happen.   She wants it to be special, eventful, and yes, especially meaningful.  But she is worn and the expectations she herself created are not going to come about. 

The waters rush upon her, a frantic storm.  Is there a way through?  A call to be still and "watch the LORD rescue you today...the LORD Himself will fight for you."  (Ex. 14:13-14)  Yet also, a time to "get moving!  Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea."  (Ex.14:15-16)  These contractions demand all the strength she can muster, work between the still. 

God makes a way where there seems to be no way. . . a path of dry land through the sea. . . a place of privacy in a stable.  Walls of water mount on either side.  Last minute gifts, cards, housecleaning, food preparation, laundry, conflict . . . these walls threaten to crush the spirit that is Christmas. 

But at the breaking of dawn, triumph is born and those waters rush back to their rightful place.  The people of Israel are hushed, in awe at God's mighty wonders. 

The first Christmas came with a woman in labor.  Why should it be any less today?  The coming of Christmas still requires a mother's labor of love for her family. 

But what of Joseph?  He is often overlooked, deemed unimportant to the scene.  Yet, God knows Mary needs him.  The Great Provider supplies stability.  So our men give all that is within to cast a wife's anxiety onto God, the anchor for their soul.  They too expend themselves that Christmas might arrive. 

Come, Lord Jesus, our hearts are desperate for You!  At just the right time, You reach down and grab hold, never letting go.  We cling to You, aching for Your presence . . . meaning in the midst of all this mess we have made.

His strength, never given ahead of time, but just in time.  Such a generous God.  When the burdens grow greater, He gives and gives and gives again.  Christmas come.  Fill our hearts with the glow of the Christ child.

No comments:

Post a Comment