Devotion 2 from the upcoming book ONLY JESUS REMAINS-Tending Wounded Hearts at Christmas
by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2020
What was hoped for and perhaps even prayed for has come to pass or it has not. In Northern California, the first clouds since late spring begin their course across a still blue sky. There is long-forgotten moisture on the breeze.
Mornings are cool. Even cold. Leaves with their time complete reveal new temporary bold bronzes, golds and reds. These colors have always been there, but were obscured by summer’s overwhelming green.
What food has been produced by gardens and harvest fields to provide for the more volatile rainy season ahead is what I have. There will be no more this year. Will it be sufficient? What about the food to sustain my soul as we enter into the cultural mess of the holy-days?
As the earth comes to rest, the festivities begin. There are supposed to be these grand, momentous gatherings which are to thrill hearts and fulfill. But woe to my heart in this season. My soul is not coming to rest in the same way, for these traditional celebrations loom like so many minefields, which must be gotten through.
Sometimes I want to hide. Dreams dried out and turned to autumn dust. Disintegrated like this season’s leaves. But to be beaten down into this dust is not God’s will for me and so in this moment now with so many thoughts swirling, I purposefully lift my head and look to the One who is King.
I love you, oh Lord, my strength. I look to You, Lord, for Your different views. Somehow Thanksgiving, Advent and the New Year must have a different significance. Instead of abandoning these season markers, I ask You to lead me through these in a new way. Toward greater inner healing, authenticity and awe. I want to know You more in this season. Nothing less will do. You say if I seek You, You will be found by me. Well I am here seeking. Humbly. Helpless. Vulnerable. Even sad. Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening!
7 But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.
8 Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)
Philippians 3:7-8 AMPC
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