Only two more days until Christmas and I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.
God supplied an incredible blessing to my husband and I last year, nine acres of lovely forestry land found within the southern gulf islands. Wanting to spend our first Christmas at the new property, the two of us left the civilized world to visit our oasis of peace, which several residents of the island told us never received snow. When we arrived, to our horror we found several feet of snow had fallen covering the ground, our home, and the lovely deck we built on our last visit. So much snow had fallen, we could not open the door to enter our house. After struggling to get the door open, another surprise awaited us, a fallen tree knocking down power lines had left us with no power.
The first day of our arrival we spent clearing away the snow and huddling in front of a gas stove in our heavy jackets, gloves, and boots. My boots, dress shoes and not made for winter, the leather soaked through caused me to use several pairs of my husband’s socks that day, and removing them often, I had to dry them out before I could continue to wear them. Nevertheless, we would not lose our joy; this was our place and one day we would live here full time. So, we hunkered down and decided to learn how to live in the freezing isolated community.
Two days after our arrival, things were looking up. The power restored gave us heat, and a brief shopping trip into town made us both adequately equipped to start celebrating the holidays in the winter wonderland.
Nevertheless, Satan did not stop; he does not want anyone joyous during the Christmas season, especially if they are reveling in the beautiful gift of God’s love through the acceptance of the death and resurrection of his son Jesus.
Jn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
A phone call from one of my staff telling me of troubling news once again threatened to take away my peace. Although it only affected me indirectly, someone that I knew and have grown to accept as a friend soon faced less than favorable consequences. These circumstances, caused by her own poor decisions would severely affect her in the new year and having made financial choices based upon a bountiful 2018, she was going to need to alter her ideas. Too, a worldly person, with no faith or hope in God, I have no doubts in the fact that she would suffer distress from this disheartening news. This unexpected information made me gloomy.
All the thoughts of my friend’s situation weighing heavy on my mind, the ice, and the snow started to make me regret coming to the island. However, while trudging through the snowy woods, considering the bountiful plants and trees in the woodlands, the peace and beauty of it all brought to my remembrance God’s great love.
We have such lovely madrone/arbutus trees on our property, and from there sizes, they have survived for hundreds of years. Just think about that. God has supplied within these trees the ability to sustain themselves through harsh snowy winters, overly warm summers, and torrential rains. Not to mention annoying creatures and fungus that can rapidly wipe them out, killing them so that none of their beauty remains. Some of these trees have been around longer than anyone reading this blog has ever lived. I imagine if these beautiful red-trunked trees could speak, they would tell of God’s abundant love having seen and experienced things unknown to us. If God has given this much adoration and attention to a tree, how much more does he love you and me?
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
My friend does not have to face these circumstances along. The pain I feel for her comes from the understanding that God is there to help her and comfort her in this; however, she does not know this.
He is there to help and encourage everyone, all we need do is believe. At this time of the year, it seems that unpleasant news removes the joy of celebrating Christmas, and it appears hard to feel God’s love. Nevertheless, we should always remember incidents that happen now are only temporary, but God’s love and mercies are everlasting. In accepting the reality that God’s love is lasting there is no obstacle placed before us that we cannot overcome, no dangerous thing that can harm us, and no unexpected circumstances can jeopardize the plans He has for our lives.
Does this mean that my life is perfect, and I have attained all that I believe God has for me? No, my life is not perfect, and I have conflicts as well, but the one thing that I have which helps is my hope and faith in God. Through adversities, I experience the love and kindness of God, and even when sadness threatens to take over, I don’t require a pill to remove my depression anymore but look to the love of the precious Holy Spirit to comfort me. Each day I wake up knowing that I am His child, and if I am in God’s hands, the mishaps of this world cannot defeat or overcome me.
Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.