by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
To wonder is to be amazed. To wonder is to question. To wonder is to be open to revelations, which lead to awe. Hard Christmases usually are accompanied by hard and often unspoken questions. When questions come, do not ignore them. Do not brush these aside. Let them stand for now. Even when you are not able to fully articulate them. In your innermost being, do not squelch them or attempt to push through them. Instead, present these incomplete thoughts for which you may not have words to God. By this is meant to take these thoughts and lay them at the feet of Jesus, leaving them there until He puts His words to them. Until He answers. This, too, is prayer. For prayer is communicating back and forth with God, including just patiently waiting for His response.
You do not have to have pretty-sounding words. You can simply throw your thoughts at Him, as if tossed onto the breeze of the ever-present Holy Spirit who communicates these to the mind of God. It is Spirit’s job to expand that for which you have no words into full expression because Spirit knows you fully and carries the fullness of your intent and need and communicates it to Father. Then God responds with His compassionate care, which is often in ways which are unexpected and may be interiorly consoling, sometimes through tangible answers to what you have laid bare before Him. Sometimes not.
It is never your job to rush for quick solutions. If you were to do so, you might come up with that which is not His answer to your dilemma at all, but your desire to make a quick work of the pain. To fix it yourself now. But the fact is, that life includes pain, and this is not always escapable. There is no one-dose pill to make most of what is real and unwanted go instantly away.
As uncomfortable as it is, this discomfort is part of the normal cycle of living during our temporary sojourn here. Thus, places of pain are seasons to be walked through. To rush is unproductive. It can set you back. Do not pretend you have all the answers. (You do not.) Choose to stay in the pain until He leads you through often one seemingly small step or revelation at a time. Hard. Good. Worth it to receive something from God for your suffering.
Hard Christmases often demand open spaces of time in order to survive them. Places of uncomfortable rest (which may feel like restlessness). Do not run from these and try to fill them with something else. Choose to pause. You do not have to say yes to former obligations. Use the pause. To wonder. To breathe. To pause some more. To wait on the inner nudges from God which come with His peace but may not come as complete thoughts. Where Holy Spirit brings consolation, bliss-filled pieces of the answers you seek and often direction for the moment, which may be to do something or just to be and do nothing at all.
The Lord wants to work in you through all things (including now) to bless you. Give your thoughts and heart time and room to hear the voice of God speaking to you with the whispers of answers. The end result will be peace and joy and even ignition to some purpose which is more like Jesus has always wanted for you and beyond what you previously have understood.
Being before Him. Being simply present to the One who is the Present is the way to receive the gifts He longs to bestow on you. This comes only comes by putting your questions and sorrows before Him as you go through what you are going through. In wonder. In wondering.
The initial thoughts and questions which well up in you will not be all. There will likely be more coming like waves. This is not only okay, but also good. The eventual gifts which will come out of this inner searching especially when it is agonizing are made richer, fuller and more beautiful through it.
What relief to know I do not have to have all the answers. What blessing to know You are Father, Jesus and Spirit and I am Your child. There is so much on my mind and heart for which there are not even words to express. I don’t now how to begin to unburden myself of these to You! So, maybe I just leave the jumble of them here and open my mind and heart to whatever You have for me. Spirit, help me keep listening from this place. Open my eyes to see what You want me to know. What would help. That which would galvanize. I know You waste nothing. I know I won’t be able to understand it all now. Thanks be to God that You see and know all and are leading me and those I love through it.
19 But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart.
2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting].
SONG Recommended: HEAVEN’S KING– Christmas Worship album
If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.
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