I’m sure Mary and Joseph didn’t want to go to Bethlehem at the command of Caesar Augustus. Not at this time and in this way; and not an eighty mile journey during the last stage of pregnancy. Who would? I’m not sure they even had any idea that Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem in order to fulfill prophecy in scripture. How could they know? They were on a crazy prophetic Christmas journey, wrapped inside God’s glory and sovereignty in a most inconvenient way.
When Sovereignty Overwhelms us in a Seriously Inconvenient Way
For most of us, Christmas can feel like tyranny of the urgent or as if we’re doing things at the command of someone else. But what if the whole thing is being gloriously orchestrated by God for His Glory? What if we could posture ourselves and take this next week to experience God inside of all the inconveniences that will come? I so often fight what I fear, and resist what I don’t know. Let’s face it: With the holidays, we don’t want others controlling us, but then again, we want to honor family. How do we “do” this life with Jesus when it just seems so complicated?
For me, rest inside of trust is allowing life to happen as I trust God in His love and goodness. Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your steps.” Many things come to frighten me out of my peace and rest. What if I make the wrong choice here? What if others make the wrong choice here? The beauty of trust is that I am not responsible for others, nor am I at their mercy. The freeing truth for all of us is this: God is responsible for us, and we are in His mercy. As this becomes more and more true and resounding in our fretful and fearful souls, we can then rest peacefully inside of His majesty and sovereignty.
Inside Christ, It’s Always Safe and Wonderful
I once asked God, “How can You redeem everything that I do and everything others do? How can the Holy Spirit cause all things to work out for good (Rom 8:28) with my only part being to love and believe You?” The answer I heard was wonderful and freeing. I heard the Lord say, “Do you think I am only one or two steps ahead of you? I am thousands upon thousands of steps ahead; I am thousands upon thousands of decisions in front of your next decision. I am not limited by what you or anyone else does. I am sovereign, I am almighty, and I am good.”
Furthermore, He went on to say, “You are in Christ, and so all things happening to you are inside of Christ, including your circumstances and consequences. You can rest in Me, in Christ.” As I thought on these words, I felt such love and protection wash over me. I realized, I am not alone in this story. My life is not out of control or in chaos. My life is IN Christ. Yeah, maybe outside it’s a bit dicey, but inside Christ, it’s safe and wonderful. “I’ve got His love to keep me warm.” I am loved, watched over, cared for. . even all inconveniences are for His Glory inside of Christ. Rather than fight against whatever I am in, I can rest inside of Christ.
All of Me into All of You
This is where my prayer came, “I bring all of me into all of You.” Then that grew to, “I bring all of me into all of You. . . and worship.” This week, I am praying, “I bring all of Christmas into all of Christ. . .and worship.” I invite you to pray this same prayer with me, as we seek to find every part of our lives IN HIM, trusting in His sovereignty and worshipping all the way.
Praying your Christmas will be swallowed up in His victory and love . . .even if you forget to make reservations or make some mistakes. It’s all good, it’s all in Christ!