How do you approach Christmas when believing in miracles simply seems impossible?
On December 25th, 2011 I stumbled beneath our Christmas tree almost bald, broken, uncertain and questioning this baby in a manger Who promised me life. My battle with brain cancer forced me to dig deep into God’s Word in a way I never experienced before. That Christmas Eve, lying near the twinkling Christmas tree, God met me in my place of impossibility and showed me a renewed miracle at the manger.
Can you put your shaking hand in mine as we meet at this uncertain nativity place?
After Mary learned about her new calling in life, she immediately rushed to perhaps the only person she thought would understand the message she had been given. She ran to Elizabeth who was miraculously pregnant herself. Even if you have read these words before, stick with me. There is Truth packed in here that will change the way you look at Christmas:
Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” (Luke 1:42-45 NLT)
Did you catch that last phrase? According to this passage…
Mary was not blessed because she was chosen by God. (God can choose us, but we must be willing to follow.)
Mary was not blessed because she prayed more or had more of the Scriptures memorized. (Knowledge is not faith.)
Mary was not blessed because she carried the Son of God for 9 months. (But no doubt this experience changed her life.)
No. God blessed Mary because of her willingness to simply trust and obey.
You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.
Elizabeth had every right saying these heart hesitating words because her husband failed to believe God would give him a son at his old age. He failed to believe in miracles. He had given up hope. The thought that God still wanted to bless him with a son was no longer a dream tucked deep in his heart. Instead, it was a source of deep sorrow and pain.
But Mary believed the Lord would do what He said.
As Joseph planned to divorce her quietly…Mary believed the Lord would do what He said.
As she rode the camel across rough terrain well into her pregnancy…Mary believed the Lord would do what He said.
As she looked into the darkness of the stable that holy night…Mary believed the Lord would do what He said.
As she swaddled the newborn King and placed Him where animals had just salivated dinner…Mary believed the Lord would do what He said.
Can you just imagine the emotions ripping through this mamma’s heart? That night as she looked around at the cattle hooves and sheep-filled stable, did she realize God was acting on His promise? Did she feel safe or completely alone/How is this our Messiah? Why would God choose this entrance? What did she signed-up for?
Yet Mary trusted.
From the buckets of hay in the stable…
to the buckets of water at a wedding feast…
to the buckets of blood at the cross…
Mary believed the Lord would do what He said.
I know we say we do, but your thoughts, your emotions and your actions share your faith much louder than your words ever will.
Sometimes, you need a friend to grab your shaking hand and allow you time to kneel at the manger. Here, you can look into His eyes and reclaim His promises. Here at the manger you can look into the eyes of a mother that believed in miracles. Look into the eyes of a mother that simply could not give up on the promise God gave to her.
And you know what?
That same Abba has given you so many abounding promises too, available for you to claim, own and find rest for your aching heart this Christmas. Even in the midst of shattered dreams, hope is found in feeding trough. Mary shows us how to believe that the Lord will do what Hesays.
He has done it before. He is doing it again.
Friends, put your name in these passages today:
Whom have you in heaven, Bethany, but Me? You desire Me more than anything on earth. Bethany, your health may fail, and your spirit may grow weak, but I will remain the strength of your heart; I am yours forever. (Psalms 73:25, 26 NLT)
Bethany, can anything ever separate you from My love? Does it mean I no longer love you if you have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is yours through Me, I love you. (Romans 8:35, 37 NLT)
When believing in the miracles that surround Christmas seems impossible, simply kneel at the manger, look into Mary’s eyes and remember, YOU can believe the Lord will do what He says.
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