The Babe in the Manger

Christmas music plays as I sit to begin my daily devotions. A small fiber optic tree only needs a flick of a switch to glow. Stockings hang on our living room wall. One has the name of our Boston Terrier, Molly, on it. A few packages sit near the tree. I have yet to wrap my gifts for my spouse. His for me are hidden somewhere, probably on our messy screen porch. Opposing emotions battle within as I read Bible verses. Sadness bumps against joy. Excitement and anticipation push against tension and remembered disappointment.

I run finger tips across a devotion and ponder a baby nestled in a trough meant to feed animals, not any baby, the son of God, the son of the God who sees the back of the stars He created. I think about my children at their births, about my grandchildren. I want to hold them each once more but they are beyond that stage, long past infancy. My love for them is so intense that I want to phone each one but I don’t. That kind of emotional phone call meets my need. It would be about me, not them, and at my advanced age, I recognize my own self-centeredness. I say a prayer for each of them instead. They know my love for them and I know God’s love for me.

Faith in God is a decision. At least it was and is for me. I reclaim it often because I need to. Life sometimes laughs at a belief in a good God. It is a scornful, hateful laugh as news stories remind constantly that the world is full of evil, of corruption, of hate. It is a world where wars are waged over the bodies of little ones. It is a world where discerning truth is an ongoing challenge. I could wave fists in a world like that but instead, I fold hands in prayer, lift them in praise and hold on fiercely to my belief in a good God, a sovereign God. I focus on the joys, the beauty, the marvels in the world.

I look at the manger scenes in my living room. I think of the babe in a manger. I allow gratitude to fill me from my toes to my head of white hair. I let the peace Jesus promised quiet my soul. I cannot understand God but I do know Him through His word and His actions in my life. I pray a blessed Christmas season for any who read this blog.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 NIV

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