Only Jesus Remains– 33.Trusting Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

To trust in the Lord with all your heart and not lean on your own understanding does not mean to squeeze eyes tightly shut because you are supposed to believe God will somehow change how things are.  He might. But that is not the point of trusting in the Lord. And it does not mean kind of trying to force God to give you your will because you think you need it. Now! Because otherwise it hurts too much…(Awfully…) To trust in the Lord is to be aware of how things are and trust Him even if nothing changes. To trust that He is still there working through it.

 How was it for Joseph or even Mary to find themselves in the circumstances in which they did as Mary went into labor for Christ to be born. Joseph had trusted God and brought Mary with him for the journey as the census demanded. God had allowed—even willed—for Mary to be this far along in her pregnancy at exactly this time.

God the Provider didn’t seem to be providing well for His Son who was King of kings. Joseph perhaps felt as if he were a loser or incompetent. Chosen to be earthly protector to the woman bearing the Son who was the Messiah, and foster father to Jesus, Joseph had obeyed to adhere to the mandated census. How was it possible that the only shelter available for them in response to this trust in God seemed so inadequate for any woman giving birth, and certainly insufficient and not honoring enough for this God-Child being born. Why did the birth need to come at this moment? In such circumstances? Yes, to Bethlehem to fulfill ancient prophecies. But like this???

 Yet, was what God enabled inadequate? Had He failed to provide? Had He broken Joseph’s trust? Was this seemingly imperfect, lesser birth circumstance really less? Or was it exactly how God wanted it to be? The “how” of Jesus’ birth already setting the stage to reveal God’s love for how great it really is.  A love already sacrificially manifesting. Focused on true priority which was not the manner of birth at all. The way God enabled Jesus’ birth is a demonstration that God’s priority is not what we aspire to as blessed comfort. It is not being exalted on any lesser, earthly throne. Such thrones do not represent His type of power anyway. God’s singular priority is fully loving us, where love is not a noun, but an action verb.

Lord, I still cannot fully fathom You. The total expanse of Your love remains beyond my mental grasp. Who would do what You have done? I take Your story so for granted.  You came. You loved. You saved. But it was choice and there was cost.  Thank You! The words are not enough. Thank you! Do You sense my heart seeking to give You more than these words say. King of kings and Lord of lords, if Your Spirit will continue to help, according to Your promises. I long for my life to be an ongoing offering for You to use for Your increased life in this world. And of course, in the world to come.

1…Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.

Isaiah 43:1b-2

18 Let no person deceive himself. If anyone among you supposes that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [let him discard his worldly discernment and recognize himself as dull, stupid, and foolish, without true learning and scholarship], that he may become [really] wise.

19 For this world’s wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness;

20 And again, The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20

13 Now after they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Get up! [Tenderly] take unto you the young Child and His mother and flee to Egypt; and remain there till I tell you [otherwise], for Herod intends to search for the Child in order to destroy Him.

14 And having risen, he took the Child and His mother by night and withdrew to Egypt

15 And remained there until Herod’s death. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, Out of Egypt have I called My Son.

Matthew 2:13-15

SONG Recommended: NOT MY WILL BUT YOURSChristmas Worship album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

TRUSTING CHRISTMAS 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s