It’s December! It’s been an eventful month with school concerts, parties, carolling and Christmas events. We also had my parents visit us and excitedly celebrated Eliana’s 11th birthday.
She was our Christmas baby.
After writing a short piece for our church advent devotional, I wanted to incorporate some of it here too in the hope that it would encourage you at this busy time of year.
Around the time of all my children’s birthdays, I usually remember back and reflect on the events that surrounded their birth.
I was recently reminded of when I went into labour with Tobi and when the unexpected occurred… I needed an emergency c-section! The medical staff spun into action around me, making the journey from delivery room to surgery fast.
Rushing is necessary sometimes!
As we approach Christmas Day, and remember our Saviour’s birth, I am again reminded of the events leading up to His birth.
As Mary rode uncomfortably on the donkey’s back, there must have been a sense of urgency, to get to Bethlehem as quickly as possible.
I imagine, upon arrival, the climate intensified as they kept being turned away, searching for a place to stay.
“There’s no room here” yet another innkeeper replied.
“Please hurry Joseph” Mary’s eyes pleaded in panic.
“I’m trying Mary… ” Joseph quietly soothed, desperately racing to knock on the next closed door. “We need a room quickly.”
Reflecting on my own life, I can identify with those “rushing” moments of medical emergencies, racing through airports to make connecting flights, border-runs, visas needing urgent approval, Christmas shopping… the list goes on.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
(Luke 2:19 NIV)
Despite the urgency of Mary’s situation, we read that she had this beautiful way of treasuring things in her heart, of remembering, and thinking about them deeply. Through the unexpected twists and turns of her life, Mary slowed down enough to pause… to think and to consider.
Maybe her mind couldn’t fully make sense of all God had planned, but instead of doubting what He was doing, she remained full of faith, trusting God through the ‘unknowns’ that lay before her.
And so, this Christmas 2017 years on, I must remind myself again to stop rushing about and to simply treasure in my heart the most amazing, generous, miraculous gift of Jesus.
Even through my doubts and uncertainty I choose to remain full of faith and trust in God through the unknowns in life. As we head into the New Year, let us ponder God’s good gift of grace and forgiveness.
The Blessings of peace, the beauty of hope, the spirit of love, the comfort of faith…
May these be your gifts this Christmas Season.
With much love from Andrea (and the rest of the Cross family: David, Tobiah, Eliana and Spencer).