John 1:16-18 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
Perhaps this Christmas you are not looking at the presents under the tree, but instead thinking that this year you received the gifts you didn’t ask for. Illness, prayers that felt like they were met with silence, broken dreams, struggles in ministry. These don’t feel like gifts at all and you would much rather toss them aside, reaching instead for anything with glittery wrapping paper and answers tied up with pretty ribbon.
I don’t know what part of your story feels painful this Christmas, or if this felt like the most amazing year of your life. I don’t know what you are celebrating or grieving. But I do know this: no matter what, Jesus is near to the Father’s heart and you are near to His heart. He reveals the Father to us, drawing near right where we are around the world. His gifts are good, no matter what. This Christmas season, may you receive the gift of Jesus Christ Himself.
For the momma whose little ones just won’t sleep through the night, whose Third Culture Kids are struggling to adjust after a move, whose teenagers aren’t walking with the Lord right now, may you receive the gift of knowing both you and your kids are held close to the Father’s heart.
For the woman sending her loved one back across the ocean, your heart breaking yet again, may you receive the gift of Immanuel, God with us.
For the single sister who has buried dreams this year, keeping your eyes on Jesus even when your heart floods with longing, may you receive the gift of trust in the good Author of your story.
For the one who is waiting—for ministry doors to open, for a spouse, a baby, an answer—may you know the power and might of Ehohim, our God who is sovereign and true.
For the one who is ready to go, heart willing, bags packed, yet the door is closed—the funding hasn’t come in, the placement hasn’t worked out, the team hasn’t accepted—may you receive the gift of faith to keep bravely saying that obedient yes.
For the woman who watches friends and teammates leave, who longs for companionship and connection, may you receive the gift of intimacy with the Holy Spirit in every lonely, empty moment.
For the one caught between two worlds, elderly parents or college-aged kids back in one part of the world, and open doors and hungry hearts in another, may you know in the depth of your being that our Father provides in every situation.
For the one who feels your health has betrayed you or held you back, you have seen more doctors than anyone should in one lifetime and you are still waiting for healing to come, may you receive the gift of the comfort and hope of Jehovah Rapha, our God who heals.
May you know Shalom in every hurting and broken crevice of your precious heart. You are seen, you are heard, you are loved.
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