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ANTICIPATION!!!

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:15  NASB

Anticipation. It’s one of the spices of life. You plan and wait. The days seem to drag on forever. Then suddenly, the expectation you’ve longed for becomes a reality. There’s just nothing quite like it.

In the midst of all the hoopla of the Christmas season, I encourage you to read the story of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2) with the expectancy that Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, Simeon, or Anna might have felt. Put yourself in their place and let your mind and emotions envision the hope and exhilaration of their first glance of the precious infant, Jesus, the Child, the Savior who is Christ the Lord, the Messiah! Feel the wonder of His birth as they held Him in their arms and kissed His little face.

May the anticipation of the celebration of Christ’s birthday and His imminent return find fresh meaning and a sense of renewed joy in your heart this week and in the coming year. Merry Christmas, beloved ones, and be blessed beyond measure!

Eagerly awaiting,

Beverly <><

When Your World is Rocked

When Your World is Rocked

 

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14, NASB
 

DDoE_Christmas_2014_mary_and_gabrielWhat do you do when your world is rocked? You know, when something happens and everything, at least for the moment, changes. In that respect, most of us can identify with the young Mary.

Since 2012, I have become quite familiar with unexpected events forcing me to rearrange my life. While on a Zookeepers’ mission trip to Nicaragua this past March, I noticed a dark area in my field of vision. Because we were so busy with ministry activities, I tried not to think about it but prayed for God’s protection and healing.

Upon returning to the states, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my optometrist that day. Long story short, I had a retinal tear necessitating emergency surgery that evening. The realization that I could have lost my sight in that eye compelled me to change my daily routine drastically for the next few weeks.

With Christmas just a few days away, I find myself pondering the immense life changing experience of the young virgin Mary. She was engaged to marry Joseph; I expect her excitement in becoming a wife was like that of most of us.

However, an unexpected visit and a ringing announcement from the angel Gabriel would forever alter Mary’s life. Chosen by God Himself, she was to be the mother of His son, Jesus, the Savior of the world, the Messiah. The conception would be a miracle performed by the Holy Spirit. Wow! Talk about rocking her world!

I can only imagine the anticipation, uncertainty, and ridicule she must have experienced during the next nine months. This young girl had to grow up in a hurry. She not only experienced the joy of pregnancy, but most likely the shameful gossip and unkindness displayed by those not aware of God’s purpose for her life. Yet, according to what we see in the Scriptures, she hung in there, never giving up or losing her faith.

Yes, Mary’s precious Child would be the very One to bring hope, help, and healing in her time of need and chaos, as well as ours. When our world turns upside down, rest assured Jesus is the Rock on which we can stand.

[Digging deeper – Ps. 18:2, 62:2; Matt.1:18-25; Luke 1:30-31, 2:7, 19, 33-35]

Because of Him,

Beverly <><