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Silence Before the Dawn

If you’ve ever tried to overcome something in your life, a habit, addiction, attitude or conflict in a relationship, you know the weariness of soul that can come with months and years of seeming un-change. When the horizon looks empty of sunrise, and the voice of hope seems to go silent, your trust in God can wane and sap all your strength.

The people of Israel found themselves in a silent season, waiting, struggling, striving and wondering if all was forgotten, if they were forgotten by God because of their repeated failures of old.

Without companions for the journey speaking living Word to our thirsty hearts, we may grow weary in our silent seasons and stop walking toward the joys hidden ahead for us.

The Prophets spoke living Word to the Israelites' hearts, to steer and guide them toward the joy God was preparing before them. They were weak sheep, meandering through the pages of history in need of a Shepherd who would guide and guard them with his own life, like any great shepherd.

At times the silence in our seasons can grow so quiet, it rings loud in our hearts and blocks out all other sounds – like the whisper of One who loves us enough to come, live, and even die to deliver to us forever joy in place of our struggle.

On a day predicted hundreds of years before, the only Son of God was sent by his Father to this earth as a baby to be that great Shepherd. The One the Prophets spoke of came, and lit the darkness with hope for all mankind.

The birth of Jesus not only gives us hope of eternal salvation, but for our seemingly silent seasons in this life as well. Salvation is instant – a Christmas morning in one’s heart – and dawns by simply trusting in Jesus Christ – the perfect and only one-time sacrifice for human sins (John 3:16). Once we put our trust in Jesus and are sealed forever, we will yet experience trials (John 16:33), and sometimes this feels like silence. We take joy not in the trial or the silence, but in the One who holds our hand always, and promises hidden treasures even in these places. (Isaiah 45:3)

God created. God watched. God loved. God gave. Jesus came. Jesus walked. Jesus healed. Jesus forgave. Jesus died.  Jesus resurrected. Jesus lives. You trust. You live. We rejoice!

Today as I consider my gratitude for Jesus’ birth father, God, who gave His only Son for my joy and life, I am not only thankful I’m saved and secure in the hope of living for eternity with them. I’m thinking too about the areas of my life that are not yet lovely; places where my flesh is still winning more battles than God’s Spirit in me. God’s love for me is complete, and it’s out of His love for me that He willingly moves inside me to help me change. And yet, He’s in no hurry to “fix” me or you sister, in order to love us more. He loves you today, completely, as you are. His desire to change you is for your freedom – not to help Him love you more! His grace covers us with His love, and His grace redeems us with His freeing power.

Christmas, friends, is the “dawn of redeeming grace” indeed[1].

I’d like to share a Christmas prayer with you all from a mentor who has walked with me as I’ve stepped away from an old way of living, into Jesus’ way more. I hope you are blessed.

“Thank You, God, for that silent night when Love entered our human experience. Emmanuel – God with us…a fragile, helpless baby boy, a poor young couple with no appropriate space to labor and deliver Love, travel wearied and scared, far from the familiarity of home. Thank You that in all of His experiences He can identify with us and walk with us. Please walk with us who are fragile in mind, body, and spirit. Walk with us who are helpless children in abusive situations. Walk with us who are frightened, sick, sad, and without hope, the alienated, those in bondage, the homeless, the prisoner, the refugee, the stranger, the weary. Into the silent night of our loneliness, breathe Your breath of pure love and companionship. Into the sleepless nights of our dread, desperation and debilitating pain, breathe Your breath of calm reassurance and sweet peace. Into the sweet nights of our contentment, breathe Your burning desire that all creation be reconciled to Yourself. In the name of Jesus, who identifies with us in all of our human experience, Amen.” – Lisa

This year I pray you experience Christmas as your “dawn of redeeming grace.” I pray you see your Redeemer in Jesus Christ, who loves you with all His heart.

Then let’s come back in 2014 and together consider this redeeming love of God at Just Women Night! Go ahead, give yourself an early Christmas gift and register today!

Celebrating with you,

Heather

 

[1] From “Silent Night” - lyrics by Joseph Mohr. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Night

 

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Elizabeth wrote:
Thanks so much!

Thu, December 19, 2013 @ 9:01 AM

2. Connie Creamer wrote:
Very powerful message. I need to be reminded he wants to free me from myself, to experience the fullness of life he has for each of us! Thanks be to Him for the "dawn of redeeming grace"!

Thu, December 19, 2013 @ 6:03 PM

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