Only Jesus Remains– 31.Christmas Prayer

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

To begin another day, Lord, is to choose to lift a hymn of praise to You. This is not a blind push to pretend things are not as they are or to put a mask on aspects which are agonizing or unbearable. Nor a disguised plea to play on Your promises to get You to move the way I would like. It is a teeth-gritted choice some days to praise You still here and now because of who You are.

 You are not magical or just miraculous. You are beyond both of these. You are the One Being who I know is Love and yet You are beyond description.  You made us to have language, yet I can only express that for which words have been created. I try to create words to describe something I am coming to know about You. Yet, in this discovery, there is a point past which I cannot go. There You dwell in what is a mist of unknowing for me. Behind the veil.

 Yet through Your holy Book as You have met with us through the ages, there You reveal the aspects of Yourself to me now. These feed and sustain, guide and console until the day You take me home.

The wonder that is Your greatness. Your care. The awe that You involve Yourself in our lives. In mine.

There is a reality that is larger and playing a role than what is seen and perceived with the natural mind.   It is spiritual and greater than what my natural five senses can perceive. Angels and fallen angels. Saints who have gone before. You on Your throne. Jesus! Father still working out His plan through all things. And beautiful, gentle, mighty Holy Spirit who is with me on this journey.

Oh, blessed Spirit, thank You! Here in the midst. Here in the brokenness and awfulness, sorrow and disease, pressures and oppression, injustice and grief of this temporary exiled life where the evil prince of the air and his minions still have their way. Where this adversary works through willing minds, wrong mind-sets and vulnerable hearts to destroy me and those I love, one against the other through egos and wounds, woundings and misunderstandings, misinterpretations and outright evil choices. Through it all You remain, God with us. With me.

There are many hard things in this place. In this life. Yet, into this place from the unfathomable beyond-ness where You dwell, You also come. Fully Yourself and fully one of us. Jesus, You came to reveal Yourself in a touchable, tangible way and simultaneously impose Your kingdom over all, which at that moment had come, though not fully yet. The rescue plan to provide the way out of my seemingly endless exile so long promised.

In my small-mindedness, I was looking for something different than what You brought. In my small-mindedness the pain and the wrongness of today overtook everything else and my heart cried: I know You are good, therefore certainly You will save from all that hurts! We are Your children! You don’t want this for all of us!

Yet, yet, yet You Yourself, encountered problems and suffered in the same way. Why is the reality of hardship such a surprise to me?

What You showed is not a life without the pain, sorrow and problems, but how Father works through these to redeem. You let them mock and torture and kill You. You let them discount You. You did not care when they made fun of what You said or rejected You when You talked. You just kept going. United to Father. About His work which was Your purpose.

In You, I can see God, if I will choose to look and let Holy Spirit teach me. You came indescribably to me in ways I can come to understand You more through experience—even if I still lack the words.

You are teaching me now. Here. In this unexpected reality. You are teaching me more about the reality of the spiritual battle. And Your ongoing victory. How it will be hard here, but not to just be complacent and accept the hardness, but to look to You and let You grow and lead me productively through it. Sometimes You are calling me to be at rest in the storm. And sometimes Your Spirit calls to stand up and fight. Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.

A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!

Every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain.

And the glory (majesty and splendor) of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it…

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, and His arm will rule for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.

11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young.

Isaiah 40:3-5,10-11

30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;

31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Isaiah 40:30-31

SONG Recommended: WHEN THE TREES AND LIGHTS MEAN NOTHINGSo You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS PRAYER 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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