One thing I’ve noticed after living a lot of years is that some years are just harder than others. Most all of us have struggled through a few of those years. You know the kind—the ones that have sent you spiraling, the ones that have wreaked havoc in your world, the ones that will always be remembered as your hardest challenge ever just to get through.
Well, good news. You’re almost there.
And whatever we may walk through in this life, I’m constantly reminded of the One who holds all the broken pieces together and makes them fit again, the very One who alone is able to give purpose through all the pain, and bring great blessing through the awful mess.
The One who sent His only Son into a messy, struggling, dark world, so that we could have a chance to be free.
You see, nothing ever remains the same in this world. Things change. People move. Time goes by. Kids grow up. We all will certainly experience deep or unexpected loss at some point along the way. And sometimes our footsteps begin to falter on the things we’ve depended on so very much, but really aren’t meant to fully support us. We can’t simply rely on what surrounds us, even the people who we love most, because to fully lean on one thing or person means that they can never leave or change.
But on Him, we can always rely.
When we can’t find our way at times, when the tide has turned and the struggles seem fierce, when we feel overwhelmed, and the winds blow strong … He’s still there. Hope shines through. It may be just a glimmer but it’s enough to whisper His words of truth, “I see you, you are never alone. I will carry you through the fiercest of times, into places of peace, and will make your footsteps strong.”
I walked along the beach one day. It was cold and windy, sands shifting under my every step. I watched the birds soar in the sky, seemingly fearless and bold, finding power in the gusts that blew, to go higher, stronger, bolstered by the gale force winds.
Sure foundation. Wind beneath our wings. Whisper of peace that calms the waves and storm. Glimmer of light in a dark world. That’s who Christ is. He is our Hope.
Jesus came to this earth when the skies were black. Such a deep, symbolic picture of what He came to do.
Light of hope ushered straight in, against the backdrop of darkness. Shining so brightly in a world that sought to destroy His message and power.
But you can’t make a King stop shining. You can’t deny the might of the One makes the sun to rise. You can never destroy the solid Rock, our firm foundation, even amidst the changing times. Because He never changes. He’s stable, and sure, steadfast, unwavering. He conquered death to set the captives free. He reigns forever and graces us with power to live strong, bold lives.
Don’t ever doubt or fear that He’s not with you. He hasn’t lost control. He hasn’t forgotten you. Not ever.
We don’t have to be afraid of the storms, difficult years, uncertainty over the future, or changing times.
For He knows our way, and He goes before us. Pure light shining greatness against skies of dark.
Hope rises most powerfully in stormy gales. And He still whispers His calm assurance to our hearts today…
Thank you for helping us to make it through this difficult year. Thank you that you’ve carried us through the uncertainty of deep waters, through the flames of trials, and through the pain of hard losses. We are constantly aware of how much we need you, your grace, your strength, your power working through even the toughest days.
Help us to keep our focus first on you this season. Please forgive us for giving too much time and attention to other things, for looking to other people before coming to you first. Help us to reflect again, on what Christmas is really all about. Thank you that you came to give new life, peace, hope, and joy. Thank you that your power is made perfect in our weakness.
Help us to remember that the gift of Christ, Immanuel, is our greatest treasure, not just at Christmas, but for the whole year through. Fill us with your joy and the peace of your Spirit. Direct our hearts and minds towards you. Thank you for your reminder that both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness, you’re still with us. For you never leave us. Thank you for your daily powerful Presence in our lives, that we can be assured your heart is towards us, your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to our prayers. Thank you that you surround us with favor as with a shield, and we are safe in your care.
We choose to press in close to you today, and keep you first in our hearts and lives. Without you we would surely fail, but with you, there is great hope. Thank you for your healing power, thank you for bringing us into this new season up ahead. We look forward to all that You still have in store.
In Jesus’ Name,
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