He gives me a different element of the Nativity Scene to ponder and enjoy the wonder and meaning surrounding His incredible, miraculous birth ... something to chew on and meditate upon throughout the Christmas season.
One year, there was the star... another year, the shepherds... then Mary... and Joseph... and then (and many of you were with me when God gave me this), He had me ponder on "the mud" of the stable! Every year, it has been different ... every year, exciting and surprising, and as creative as the Spirit of God can be ... as I stand in awe of the wonder of God and His infinite greatness and love toward us!
This year, I invited you to join me on my journey, as we have looked at my Christmas present from God: "Mission Impossible" and the incredible mysterious ways of God and His workings in our lives... and our human response to how impossible it appears. We have explored our human nature to always be asking God, "How?" and the unbelief we fight regarding the wonderful news and promises of God that He is attempting to speak to our hearts.
We looked at Zacharias in the Holy Temple... face to face with the angel, Gabriel, and the great news that he and his wife will have a child in their old age. Instead of rejoicing, Zach asks, "How?"
We looked at Mary, facing that same wonderful angel... hearing the news of the Savior's birth... and she asks, "How can this be?"
We looked at the prophetic promises of God ... "Born in Bethelem," "Will come out of Egypt," and "He shall be called a Nazarene" ... and how God's great news is usually wrapped up with a bunch of mysterious questions regarding, "God how are You going to work this out in my life?" These elements aren't contradictions or biblical errors - but rather, they work like a "shroud of truth" that veil us from knowing the end, before experiencing the beginning of our journey. Then, at the end of our journey, we look back and we stand in wonder and say, "Oh that is how you were going to make this all happen in my life!"
This Christmas present from God also caused us to look at how one person's favor is another person's labor pain... and how, even living in God's blessing doesn't mean you will be excluded from living a life with heart ache and suffering.
So, now I ask you: What do we come away with, in pondering all of this?
That God wants us to have a relationship with Him. And, as with any loving relationship, to have love you must have trust. So... God oftentimes doesn't tell us the "how" He is going to work our God-given dream out in our lives, because He wants us to grow closer to His heart as we learn how to trust Him - and walk beside Him - through the various seasons of our lives and receiving God's promises.
In the process, we get to watch His miracle hand at work in providing for us along the way.
This Christmas, may the wonder of Jesus' birth come alive to you and your family in a new and fresh way... and may you be blessed with the Good News of God's great love for you!