Only Jesus Remains– 7.Christmas Emmanuel

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

  There are feelings you may have during these holy-days which society may seem to assert are invalid or have no place in this season of “love”. Yet you have a right to those feelings. Christmas may not be what you had hoped, expected or what it used to be. It is okay to hurt.  It is real. The truth. Be brave enough to admit where you are. It is okay that your inner pain, sense of lack, sorrow and emptiness simply are right now.

Additionally, let’s not pretend your pain is heaven-sent. It is from hell. In heaven this won’t happen anymore.  God knows. He understands. Remember, hell took Him to the cross.

 There are no adequate words for the suffering, injustice and seeming defeat Jesus suffered. Horror. Agony. Real. Never to be made right. But God was there. In the midst. Through it. He used what the enemy meant for evil (and which was evil) for His greater, overriding purpose of good, long effects which last (forever). He brought redemption through it for all of us. Opportunity for everlasting reconciled relationship with Him. Eternal victory. Freedom for all beginning now.  This exquisitely priceless outcome wrought through pain.

This means also: God with you. Emmanuel! It is the meaning of His name. Emmanuel! God with you when it does not make sense. Especially now.  In the midst.

This is fact. It is also your beginning point. God wants to use this difficult, unwished-for time to do something beautiful in you. The hard blessing during such times is that all the exterior fluff which Christmas may have included is scraped away. Ouch! If you will dare to sense and see (which takes great courage) and let God lead and show you, you will find true balm for your soul. And hope. Through what Christmas was meant to be.

To help prepare your heart, remind yourself to drop all comparisons.  You are not like anyone else. What you need to hear and know is different.  In the austerity of now is this opportunity which you probably did not want.  Use it. Go quiet within. Push out the noise from the culture around you and let Him lead you into how He wants to bring you through this season into greater richness and abundance. This is not in the absence or denial of pain, but through it. In the midst, with nothing ignored.

So, like the Wise Men who followed the star believing it was a sign He had come, it is your turn now to effortfully seek Him. You come with an inquiring heart, focused on Him. On God. Of course, not wholly because you can never grasp His fullness. But with relentless intent. With every moment you choose to fill the unwanted seasonal voids with a turning of your thoughts to Him, how He welcomes you! He delights in what He has for you in this time together.

What is one thing you can do toward creating space in your heart for more of God this season? How will you cultivate more God-oriented inner quiet time so you can hear Him?

Holy Spirit come now and into that which used to be Christmas cheer, bring Your truth and eventual true, abiding, essential joy.

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem, asking,

2 Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east [a]at its rising and have come to worship Him.

Matt. 2:1-2

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If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

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Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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