Angels were sent to announce the birth of Jesus…
This past week my husband received an announcement – his boss phoned with the message he had been dreading would come. The company decided to change directions and would no longer need him or his two friends. All 3 of them received the news, and it was crushing, but they had been expecting it – the signs were there and they read them right.
I try to move on, as if all is ok, but a part of me wants to panic and be afraid of what tomorrow will bring, a part of me wants to cry and wants stability. So many stressors… so many losses… so much pain and hurt… my mom – lung cancer, my mother-in-law – lung cancer, my brother-in-law – lung cancer and now my stepmom, who is really not step, – lung cancer. Sometimes I can’t handle it and just want to break down, sometimes I cry, but you know what’s odd? Sometimes I sing and dance, sometimes I skip and laugh, sometimes I just have to throw my hands up in the air and praise God. Sometimes the praise comes with tears, sometimes with a joy that I can’t even explain.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV
Advent Week 4 is about Angels – God’s messengers. They didn’t come with bad news; they came with good news – the Gospel.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” Luke 2:8-14 ESV
Think about how amazing that must have been! I think I get a glimpse of that in praise. Sometimes, when I’m praising God, it’s like I can hear the Angels singing, rejoicing, praising God right alongside of me. That might sound weird, but at times, it’s more real to me than the struggles I’m going through, it’s more real to me than anything around me and at those times, I know everything will be OK.
You know, God promised it will… He promises that all things work for good for those who love Him and I do, I do love Him and I believe that He loves me. I know that for a little while we suffer…
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9 ESV
But I know the One who allows me to cast all my anxieties on Him, the One who loves me and gives me peace that I do not understand, the One that holds my life, my future, my eternity in His hand.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV
When I first became a Christian, I would reach over and hold the hand of Jesus, He was there, just as real as anyone in flesh and blood, but much more trustworthy. There was a time I worried that He’d let go of me – I knew I would let go of Him, but you know, He showed me He would never, never let go of my hand and He hasn’t.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the here and now and forget our battle is with the Spiritual forces, and forget there is a realm beyond what we see, but Angels have come, they have proclaimed the great news, they have revealed truth to us, they have revealed the Gospel to us. And you know what, God came and walked among us, Jesus was born, Shepherds did hear the Angels and rejoiced and we, even though we do not see Him as those who walked with Him do, we know Him and know He loves us.
As for me I wouldn’t trade that for anything and am so very thankful for the gift of Hope that God gave me so many years ago that has sustained me through many ups and downs.
Today may seem unsure, but I know my future is secure and I know why I celebrate Christmas!