I've been thinking a lot lately about the finding and the leading that's part of the Christmas story. How instead of lifting high this new king baby for the whole world to see, the Father hid Him away in near obscurity and called an unlikely yet perfect audience to witness and proclaim His arrival: shepherds. He called shepherds to find the One who would be the Shepherd to His people.
And how those who tried to find Him for all the wrong reasons couldn't, and those who were just minding their own business were blindsided by angels and a colossal star so that the finding was unmistakable.
I am growing to love God's upside-down and inside-out ways more and more because He orchestrates with such tender mystery and with such an unlikely cast of characters. More than ever before, the Christmas story has gripped my anxious heart and I feel a connectedness to everyone from Mary to the shepherds, probably because I've felt a little upside-down and inside-out myself.
In need of some divine leading and overwhelmed by decisions and anxiety, I simply sputtered through the tears last week, God help me. Show me the way. To be honest, I would love some heavenly hosts and that big ol' star to make things more clear.
And while He may not lead me through the same means, He always leads me to the same One...to the One who saves me both in the cosmic sense and in the everyday sense.
I don't know about you but I have needed a lot of everyday saving lately...mostly from myself. The condemnation that starts out as a whisper can steadily grow until it is so all-consuming, even the inability to keep up with laundry or not yell at my kids turns into some existential crisis and I wonder what purpose I'm serving on this planet.
I'm so thankful that God doesn't leave me in my condemned and shameful state, thankful that He faithfully leads me to the Savior with tender mercy and warm mystery. Thankful that He leads me to the One who imparts wisdom and reassures me that He's in control. Thankful that He speaks truth through His word and through His Spirit: I came to give you freedom. There is no more accusation, no more condemnation. Don't re-enslave yourself to that which I came to to save you from.
He leads me once again to Truth incarnate who came as a baby to set me free.
May Grace and Truth and Glorious Freedom be yours this Christmas.
Words of freedom to ponder during this fourth week of Advent:
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—