Christmas. The angels proclaimed Christ’s birth with joyful songs and “peace on earth, good will to men!” But do we see that? There is no peace on earth. There are wars and rumors of war. Terrorists threaten everyone. There are lonely, grieving people. Death touches so many lives. What do we have to rejoice about?
But we misunderstand the peace God offers to man. When Adam sold the world into sin and Satan’s power, the relationship with God was broken and there was no peace on earth. Ever since, man has been at war with God, wanting to run their own lives, and finding frustration and unrest, not peace. Because Jesus (who is God) came to earth, lived, died, and rose again, he restored man’s relationship with God and through the relationship with Jesus. Even though everything about me is chaos and in tatters, I can have peace with God, true peace. And I rejoice. I have life with God, not just now, but for eternity.
BECAUSE OF LOVE
Glory could not hold him
when love called out his name
His Father bade him change his
clothes of glory’s reign.
The Son of God left heaven
to don a servant’s life
to dress in human skin to
serve those lost to strife.
Because of love he suffered;
because of love he died.
Because of love he rose that
with God we could abide.
The year marches on and we find life takes detours we would rather not take. But God is good and gives peace in the midst of those detours! I am hoping to become a regular on WordPress again as my life takes on more normalcy. Now as I approach Christmas and a New Year, I am grateful that God became a man to bring life and peace to men. May He bring life and peace to you this season.
WHO IS THIS JESUS?
Who is this Jesus, He who came to earth from heav’n in human garb, proclaimed Himself as one with God, and died for men. Against men’s barbs
of unbelief, He called himself, “I am”—the name of God, the One Creator God who made all things that now exist. He is the Son,
and He is God who rules all things. When time is done, His righteousness will rule and all will bend the knee for He will end all wickedness.
Who is this Jesus, He who came to earth from heav’n in human form to bring true life to men on earth, to give to all a bright new morn.
Many years ago, my husband and I walked through a Japanese Tea Garden. It was a lovely, peaceful place. The land had been landscaped and the trees trimmed. It had been transformed.
So with my life. As I go through rough times, I am prone to dwell in fear or anger. It doesn’t help the situation, but it is hard not to react that way when I don’t the pain and grief.
But like the gardener who does beautiful things with the land, God is a gardener who does beautiful things with my life. He can give me peace in the midst of His trimmings and diggings. He has given me a promise that has become dear to my heart: Proverbs 3:5-8. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your way straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
Recently a friend told me her mother had died of brain cancer about four years ago. She had quoted those verses to her daughter many times. It was her life verse. Now, during this difficult time, she clung to it. It gave her peace and strength.
As I have experienced trials, God has used them to minister and strengthen others. I am grateful. I often think how God gave His Son so we may have life. Can I do less than suffer graciously so I can give comfort to others–maybe even life?
God alone knows where the trials lead and how they will end. I’m glad He does. Someday I can ask Him about those things. Meanwhile, I ask for grace to trust Him and experience His peace through all the stormy skies and rough roads.
Not just the story of one day but revelation of God’s ways. To save men from eternal death, God Himself came to the earth. Born a baby long ago, His love and grace now to bestow on men that they may reign with Him, no longer slaves to death and sin. Darlene Estlow 2014
I ask myself, am I continuing to be thankful? Scripture tells me to be thankful at all times! One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
What? In all circumstances? When I tear my meniscus and have pain no matter what I do? When I get strep throat and then a cold? When my finances don’t seem to be what they should?
But then I am reminded that God’s will is that I be thankful. And for that, He gives me peace and joy. Oh, things don’t automatically become better (though they may), but I know that He is listening to me and I can trust Him. He is in charge. After all, He is not my personal servant boy, waiting on hand to give me whatever I ask, or my Aladdan with a magic lamp. He is the Creator of the Universe who showed His love and care about 2000 years ago when He came to earth to die for me! Through that, He has opened heaven’s door to me. This life is so short (though in suffering it doesn’t seem so!) and ahead of me lies heaven since I have embraced Jesus as God eternal and my Savior.
So I ask myself, am I continuing to be thankful? I must admit, too often I am not. But when I come back to God’s will for me and express thanks for the marvelous gift of coming as man to earth (an event we are soon to celebrate), plus the gifts He has given me, He gives joy and peace. This life with all its sorrows and pain will soon come to an end and then the decision I have made about Jesus will bring joy and peace forever.
The results of our election for the President have left some feeling hopeless. They fail to realize that government isn’t the answer. Hope came to earth 2000 years ago when God Himself came to earth and with His life, death, and resurrection showed us there is more to life than what we see here. This life is not all there is. I am so glad.
For those who have lost hope, regardless of the situation:
In the middle of bitter days,
God gave me a seed of hope.
I buried it deep in the soil
of my heart, far from the
probing eyes of the Spirit of God.
I feared the Light that He Is
would cause it to live and thrive
and bring pain. But God plowed
my heart with His Word and watered
the soil with His love. My heart
surrendered to the growing
seed and yielded a garden
of joy and trust in the living God.
Someone swept into my life the other day. She is a talented sister in Christ whom I love and appreciate. She is a whirlwind who can bring order out of chaos, makes rooms look pretty with her decorating skills, and loves yardwork and landscaping. She is tireless. I love her for it and I am thankful for her.
And I realized I was jealous of her. She is all the things I am not.
The other day she said to me, “You are so patient with your grandchildren. I could never homeschool the 12-year-old like you do.” I smiled and said, “Thank you. I really enjoy homeschooling him.”
I thought about that. How foolish I was to be jealous. God gave her certain talents; he has given me certain talents. If everyone had her talents (or mine), there would be things left undone. And I thought about a young man I knew years ago who had Down’s Syndrome. His life was more of a glory to God than mine could ever be!
So who am I to judge whether my friend’s talents are more important than mine. Humans with their different talents are like a color wheel. Each primary color has a complementary color. Together, they make beauty. Together, differently talented people make beauty as they use their giftings to God’s glory.
l am no longer jealous of her; she is a delight and I marvel at her talents while I enjoy mine.
The needles of time
knit the yarn of our hearts
together into a sublime cover
in hues of sunshine,
streaked with storm clouds.
we are better together
(from my book: The Lords Battle, 2010)
A Momma’s view asked that her readers share something good that happened to them. The good thing that happened to me this morning was going to church and getting to join with others in praising our great Creator God. I blessed Him, but in turn I was greatly blessed with the talk of heaven and what it will be like. I have much to do here, but this morning will go with me as I face the trials that come along!