Corey Russell, a Bible teacher, said this week, “Christ has made you His dwelling place-the question this week is-will you make Him YOUR dwelling place?” I’d like to say yes, but in all honesty, I’m still working on it. It would be easy to say yes because I’ve been a Christian for almost 40 years, but reality is reality. So far my answer can only be “I’m trying.” What a blessing to know that in God’s book, that counts. He doesn’t call us to perfection, but to try. We do our best, and it counts. He doesn’t require of us perfection, even though I tried my hardest to attain it.
Today, as everything I touch seems to implode on impact, I’m glad to know that my weak attempt at faithfulness, because it’s the best I can do right now, is enough.
Luke 2:10-11-Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
“Good tidings of great joy”… What a beautiful phrase. And its a phrase with a promise. A promise that something is about to happen that will change everything. Suffering and pain will be washed away and replaced with great joy. In spite of the pain, loss, grief, abuse, and chaos the world throws at us, the day is coming where we will experience this Great Joy that was released into the universe when Christ was born. Sure, sometimes the waiting is agonizing, but in the end, we will say it was worth it. He is worth it.
Merry Christmas, dear reader.
John 12:46 “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
“Should not abide in darkness”. What a beautiful promise. Whatever else is going on around me, I have a fully notarized invitation to live in the light, where peace and beauty are the rule and not the exception. I have been given the dignity of getting to choose whether to stumble through the darkness and chaos of the world or to put my faith in Jesus and walk in his light. Today, I choose his light. I’m so grateful it’s really that simple!
John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
As the world swirls further into chaos and darkness, how refreshing to remember that light came into the world in the person of Jesus. Though darkness abounds and seems to rule, the reality is that Jesus rules. Selah. (Ancient Hebrew for “dude…”) He’s still in charge, and in the end he wins. Today I choose to hold onto him and remember that he is the light. He brought light. He walks in light. Darkness cannot overtake him. Today I choose peace.
John 8:12- Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
I love this promise. Yes, the world can be dark, but guess what? There is a Great Light. It brings life, and joy, and hope. And he wants us to walk with him. How amazing is that? He is the great I AM. The Alpha and Omega, and he wants us to walk in his light. In him. What is so dark that the light of God cannot overtake it? Nothing. Not one. Single. Thing.
John 1:5-And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
I made the above image at Longwood Gardens during the Chrysanthemum Festival. It was a beautiful sunny day, which means everything was well lit. (Yay for light!) It’s interesting to realize, though, that what makes this image so stunning is not exactly the light. Without the shadows the light was just there. Everything was flooded with light and therefore nothing stood out. In the presence of shadows, though, certain flowers are highlighted and their beauty is spotlighted.
How like life that is! Sure, we wish for peace and sunshine all the time, but it is in the times of turmoil and darkness that the beauty of God is fully seen. I want to stop looking at the darkness and see the light.
I’m glad God created creativity. That sounds silly, I know, but it’s the truth. I took the above photograph at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It’s a fountain made with no water. Instead of water? Succulents. As in plants that need very little water. What the heck? Who thinks of this stuff?
Geniuses, that’s who. People who come up with ideas of things that don’t exist and bring them into existence. How cool is that?
Creativity can be useful, as in coming up with a brand new way of doing something that needs to be done. It can also be purely for fun, like inventing a waterless fountain. Either way, creativity is incredibly cool.
For today, this is what I choose…
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:1-4
My favorite thing about this photo is what you can see inside the water drop. If you look closely you can see the daisies that were surrounding the bud as well as the roof of the conservatory where I found this beauty. I think people are like this little drop. What we are surrounded by is what can be seen deep inside us. While we can’t always control the field we’re growing in, we can control what we gather around ourselves. Today I choose to surround myself with beauty and with thoughts of God and his Kingdom. When you peer inside of me, I hope that’s what you see.