Only Jesus Remains– 62.Blue-Black Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

It has been longest night of the year. Now past, the sky is as yet blue-black. Those brief moments before day’s begin where the stars fade, but the dawn has not yet fully come. In the midst of profound grief is also the decision. Not to deny grief, but also not to be defeated by it. I cannot stay in the broken, so-deeply-sorrowing place. This is not to deny the pain, but the resolve to let You, my Lord and my God, work through it both in me and through my circumstances to use my wounded heart for Your Kingdom. For Your glory to be revealed.

A wind whips outside, indicating the cold storm predicted to rush through for the day has arrived. “Oh, Lord I am so tired! Emotionally spent! Oh, just to rest in You but more.”

Your voice echoes like gentle, compassionate, certain thunder within the chambers of my weary heart as raindrops splatter harshly against the windowpane in fierce bunches. It is as if You are saying: “Trust in Me. Persevere. Keep hope alive. I am not done.”

Your words bring rest to my soul. They are the drink of Living Water I needed in the dry, dark desert.

I must keep forward looking and leaning into the promises You have given me, even while working on letting You make me into who You meant me to be. To keep my mind where it needs to be meditating on Your Word, which etches Your promises more deeply on my heart.

You created all of us together to be for the praise of Your glory. This means me, too. Therefore, when people view my life, my utter hope is that they see You. Not me. This would be fulfillment of my greatest heart-wish. It did not used to be my highest wish. But it is now. The accomplishment of this, not by my power or even effort, but via submission to You. And then Your Spirit not just in-filling but moving through.

Jesus, You are the One to whom I look. You opened Yourself to Father and allowed Yourself to be emptied because You were filled with love for Father and all of us. You are the Light of truth and freedom, love and purpose which shines to the world through all things. Your manger. Your cross. Your life in between.

Use me now in the way which grows Your kingdom best. Which reveals You to the most hurting souls. I am looking to You at rest and rejoicing because You work this out sovereignly, majestically and gloriously through all things. My trust is in You. You are all that I have. I am celebrating with You already Your victory for countless hearts.  Your Light shines ever into dark places and the darkness has not and will not overcome it. For it cannot.

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.

He was present originally with God.

All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.

In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.

And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]…

There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person.

10 He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him].

11 He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own—His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him.

12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—

13 Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]

14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.

John 1:1-5, 9-14

SONG Recommended: YOU CAME TO SET US FREESo You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

BLUE-BLACK 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