Only Jesus Remains– 44.Gritty Christmas Thanks

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

Lord, this is not the season the way I had hoped.  My view remains unclear. Sometimes the only way I see anything these days is through a blur of tears. Often others don’t even know because I don’t let them see. But there is a heaviness—a sadness—which I rarely escape.

I am trying to gain your view You in this. To understand.

But perhaps there is an alternate way. To trust You, Lord, with all my heart. To not lean on my own understanding. Yes, this is Your call. Not to worry. Not to be anxious. This not because I can count on the troubles disappearing but because You are here with me through all things. My Comforter. Purifier of my heart. Lover of my soul. Caretaker of me as one of the tender shoots in Your garden. Protector when the storms come. The storms not avoided but gotten through. You, my covering and firm support.

Thus, my confidence is not in anything human-designed or people-created, but in You. My Savior and my God. You never leave or forsake a single one. Even when I forsake You. You love even when I don’t love You back well.  Even when I am having a bad day. Your love never changing. Your purposes and work never ceasing.

You urge me higher and higher. To come up to where You dwell to that position You give me as Your child. Next to You. You want me to see what You see. From Your view. The Blood of sacrificial love still spilling out spiritually from Your wounds and the water of life flowing freely for all from Your beautiful, ever-tender, stabbed heart. For love. For love. For unstoppable, incomprehensible love through hardship and suffering. That wilderness walk from my Egypt after You have set me free unto that final peace in and with You eternally for which You made each one, where there will be no more tears.  Where we are all invited to be with You and in You—my love and my life forever and ever. And with one another. Yes, the end will come at Your appointed time. An end which is no end at all but a celebratory entry into all You have planned for each one. In justice. In mercy. In rightness. For love.

I do not understand how You will work all things out. I don’t have to. Oh, blessed rest for my soul even now!

Especially now, in the midst of all I can see, I raise my heart, mind and whole being up to You in praise, thanksgiving and homage for that which I cannot see, but which You have always known and is under Your authority.

There is no stopping Your reign. There is no holding back Your coming. Your love is and will be through all until all that is to come.

Most High, how great You are and how I love You!

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].

17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.

1 John 2:16-17

21 For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].

Philippians 1:21

14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

SONG Recommended: – HOPE FOR THE WORLD So You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

GRITTY CHRISTMAS THANKS 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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