"Uncertain". If there was ever a season filled with uncertainty in our news, in our circumstances - we're in it.
If we look close we see constant changes in direction throughout the Christmas story - from Joseph's plans to quietly set aside his marriage plans with Mary, to Mary's own reaction to the news of the child she would bear, to the journey to Bethlehem, an inn becoming a stable, to fleeing to Egypt for safety after the birth - whatever "normal stability" was, that first Christmas had absolutely none of it.
I am sure there were many times when their resilience was shot, when the next change just seemed too much. When the next change was met with a "really, God??" Yet throughout the accounts, we see remarkable faith and hope in response to what God spoke to Joseph and Mary through the angels.
In a season where my own plans have changed significantly over what I hoped, and where the next steps are far from clear - Emmanuel, God is with me. And I know the future is good because God is in it.
Heb 11:1 points to a definition of what faith is - "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." By definition that means... we don't see it yet. But God's goodness and character does not change. We can be certain in who God is and that his plans are good.
Would you join me in this prayer together -
"Holy Spirit, would you show me where uncertainty is shaping my thinking more than you are. Help me be certain of what I do not see right now, and remind me of your promises over me. I declare that your plans and purposes are good for my life. Pour out hope on my circumstances, my family, and everywhere you have placed me in this world. In Jesus name!"
Written by Dave Small