On the first day of December my plans for the month came to a crashing halt — literally. My car was totaled. Severe pain and trauma to my body necessitated a total reevaluation of personal, business, and holiday priorities. But not before I bemoaned all that was lost.
Car: A TOTAL loss.
Time: All of it stolen away.
My newest book, The Essence of Joy: It gathered high praise and wonderful reviews on blogs, interviews, and more, but sales reports were a flatline.
My reflexology practice: After a significant wane in clients during November, December promised to be even slower.
Christmas decorations: My extensive Christmas village was set up Thanksgiving weekend. Nothing else was ready.
Christmas baking: What a joke – nope none of that done either.
Housekeeping: Serious attention was needed in every area.
And I found myself sleeping sitting straight up on the sofa with a 2 foot pile of pillows for support, a heat pad on my back and ice packs in front. While I could do little else, I spent time each morning writing out parts of the Christmas story from Scripture, felt pretty sorry for myself, and thought I need some angels to come fix my mess. Then one morning God spoke clearly to my heart.
But what about Mary and Joseph? They had plans, too. Wedding plans were underway. They most likely anticipated the trip to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. Biblical scholars point toward this time as the most probable for the birth of Jesus. In The Tree of Life Version (very literal translation of the Bible from the original languages) the Word did not come to ‘dwell’ among us — “The Word became flesh and ‘tabernacled’ among us.” Instead of a wedding and a fun-filled trip to the joyous festival they found themselves in an awkward and scandalous situation with an out-of-wedlock and out-of-this-world pregnancy, detained for a mandatory census, and NO ROOM for them anywhere. And what OB/GYN or midwife today would grant permission to travel to a woman nine months pregnant — on the back of a donkey no less?!
While they are in the midst of life’s challenging circumstances, God sent a star and angels to interrupt lowly shepherds — GREAT JOY proclaimed at the birth of a Baby in a barn. The shepherds’ hasty departure to visit the baby declares God provided and they witnessed the most magnificent Christmas lighting display ever and a birth announcement unrivaled by anything Pinterest has to offer today. God works behind the scenes. Always.
There were a few angels around my home. My husband put up the tree. Cookie angels arrived in various forms. I healed enough to do a few things. We’ve replaced the car. We spent time with all our children and grandchildren during the holidays, and we celebrated our blessings with His joy in our hearts.
What I’m left to contemplate is what magnificent things God has been preparing behind the scenes during this time I felt so empty and helpless? Many of my friends have had their own serious challenges to face this month, too. God is a God of renewal. I’m looking forward to all the the surprises He has prepared for each and all of us.
I’m claiming “RENEW” for my one word for 2018. The word reappeared so many times the last couple weeks. Let me share two verses that speak to my heart today.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Psalm 23:3 (NLT)
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Colossians 3:10 (NLT)
Copyright 2018, Lynn U. Watson