Often, we find ourselves in a trying situation and our knee jerk reaction is “No! Lord, take this away!” We are accustomed to easy lives that offer minimal pain. Or, if we struggle with on-going pain, we know that pain, and on some level, we make peace with it.
When I read the Christmas story, I see men and women God called to step out of comfort zones—to step onto unknown paths and offer not just a momentary yes, but a lifelong trail of one yes after the next. Willingly stepping into the discomfort and persevering in a difficult place is an act of worship if God calls us to step there. But sometimes, it’s difficult to know if it’s God’s call. How could something be trying and heaven sent?
The Christmas story teaches us a bit about confusion in the calling (like Mary’s unusual pregnancy). His call comes out of the blue, and it’s nothing we would have dreamed on our own. He calls for sacrifice that benefits many, not just us or our family. In fact, our family may make sacrifices. It may seem upside down. Yet, the topsy-turvy should not surprise us. We serve a God who makes the weak strong and the foolish wise.
The Advent season, a time of Christmas celebration, is also a time to renew our worship by committing to follow God when it’s hard, when it’s confusing, and when we are forced to lean into Him just to make it through. Emmanuel is God with us, not just in this season but also daily as we tread the path that is too steep to navigate without a holy “hand up.”
I know that we only have a few days until Christmas, but don’t miss this opportunity to download the free devotional to help renew your worship even when it’s hard! Use the link in the sidebar. I will be removing the devotional at the end of December. If you want a paper copy for next year, that will happen some time in 2020.