Only Jesus Remains– 25.Christmas Journey

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

It is a journey from where you are into the arms of God, who waits to comfort, explain, help, direct and heal even now before heaven.  Life has always been a journey for each one, regardless of whether there is geographic movement. The most vital journey is the inner one upon which you have been catapulted more abruptly when Christmas doesn’t look like Christmas.

You are not alone.  Be encouraged. Some of life’s greatest blessings are the result of unanticipated, uncertain, un-wished-for steps in life journeys. They are exquisite and bittersweet. Not necessarily happy. Especially in the moment.

Joseph and Mary embarked on a journey that just one year before neither of them could have imagined taking. They had to leave where they were and what they had thought would be and entrust themselves to God’s care for every uncertain day which lay ahead. And as they lived it, how their future would play out remained uncertain.

Today we look at them and call their lives blessed! Yet it could not have been easy. It had to have been rough. Yes, they were faithful to God. They trusted Him. But they were utterly human, too. As it was for them, now for you. For them to embark on this journey and to take each further step was a choice. It was a step into the unknown and that which was may have been privileged assignment but also came with loss along the way. We see their lives with glossed over sentimentality, but actually in the moment it required tenacious faith-choices to just do the next right thing as best they could without assurance of what would be.

 You also are traveling from here to that place where you will bridge over to eternity with God.  That is the path, though you will never see be able to foresee what all the steps will be in between. How you get there—the Lord’s divine will for you—like Mary and Joseph’s is to be walked out day by day without certainty of what is to come. With pain, hardship, difficulty, obstacles and loss along the way.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding…

 Yet, here is Jesus’ call. Do not worry for tomorrow has enough worry of its own. Be anxious for nothing. What?! Not, do not worry because there is no cause. Not, do not worry because troubles will cease. But do not worry or be anxious because God is there with you through it. Not a promise of peace or ease the way you might think you want it, but the reality of the difference between life now and eternal life in heaven in your face with the simultaneous call from God not to waste time worrying about it.  He is there. Now. With you in it. Emmanuel God-with-us. And whatever is going on which has shocked you and brought you to your knees, He foreknew. Just so, He will be faithful to get you through.

The way to walk out this part of your journey which represents this Christmas season is to be where you are at this moment. The blessing of choosing to lean into God is that you do not have to figure out where this part of the path is going. All you have to do is become more aware you are His child. It is His job to lead you. Thus, the assignment: to tune into Him more to learn to listen better to what He might have to say, so like a child you can take His hand, let Him carry the burdens and let Him lead. Joseph and Mary did this.

You do not have to know where this is going. He does. He is all good. He loves you. Take His hand. Breathe. Take all your woe and load it on Him. Again. He can take it. It is too heavy for you.  Now continuing to hold His hand, keep going.

Lord, Your path is all I want. There can be nothing better. I don’t fully understand this place where I am or where I am going, but You do. You have been here before me and You alone lay the path with next steps out before me, if I will but have the courage to trust what You my invisible God has to say and grasp hold of your hand.  Just the next step. Just this moment. Just today. I don’t have to see more. For You are God. I am not. Gratitude unbounded!

1 In those days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered.

This was the first enrollment, and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

And all the people were going to be registered, each to his own city or town.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

To be enrolled with Mary, his espoused (married) wife, who was about to become a mother.

Luke 2:1-5

31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:31-34

SONG Recommended: NOT MY WILL BUT YOURSChristmas Worship album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS JOURNEY PODCAST

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

for mini-devotions subscribe or connect on Facebook at Spiritual Armor and Ammo .

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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