This morning as I am studying and praying, the thought of joy came into my mind. So often, we think we will find joy when this happens or that happens when it is available right here and now. Nothing has to change humanly to feel joy! There are many fundamentalist religions that preach joy will come in the hereafter or here later, so isn’t that world thought? That does not have to be that way; in fact, the reality is that there is always something to be joyful about now. Gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty.
“The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 29:19
Two years ago today, an old classmate of mine reached out on social media for prayer for her son who was stranded in a snow storm out on a highway in New Mexico in a broken down car. Immediately, I began to pray knowing man could never, ever be separated from God because He is ever-present. Continuing to pray, I could feel God’s arms around this young man I had never met. The next morning, his mother shared that a truck driver spotted his broken down car in the snow storm and was able to help push him to a service station up the road.
Of course, the station was a “Love” service station. I decided I needed to write about this and I have been sharing this blog since. There are some days that I do not write, but certainly not because God is not here and 2 Samuel 22:29 comes to mind as it states “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.”
As I pray for more understanding, it becomes clearer to me that does not mean intellectualizing, but softening of the heart and meekness and receptivity. To intellectualize often kills the Spirit and can never feel God’s Love. 2 Corinthians 4:6 states “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
We are all one is brought to light as I realize there is no “us” and “them” ; only God’s creation, which is very Good.
Merry Christmas to all and Peace on earth and Good Will toward men!
As I ponder this today, I think of when I am struggling, it is because human will is attempting to be in control. Then, when I turn to God and release human will, it is like the morning mist and distorted images that it contains dissolving in the presence of the sunlight. Humanly, we often think of “turning to God” as a state of passiveness, when actually, it is a very active exercise.
Praying with Colossians 3:15 bring peace as it states “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Today as I think about the birth of the Christ, who represented Truth and constant communion with God, was met then as now with both adoration and resentment and fear. Then, I stilled my thoughts and wondered where I would fall. Would I also see the proof of Love and Truth or would I be seduced by error and sin? Only by seeing God in everything, could I be true to Him and with His help, I can do just that.
Luke 1:35 states “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'” That can be done only by leaving room in my consciousness for the perfect and harmonious. Releasing all complaint and replacing it with gratitude will help that mission.
Last year I read an article about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writing the poem “Christmas Bells” after his son was badly injured during the Civil War. One can feel the pain as he penned the poem but also, the shift as he turned to God.
“And in despair I bowed my head,
There is no peace on earth, I said,
For hate is strong,
And mock the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
But he didn’t stop there because he added
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
God is not dead nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to man.”
This struck a cord with me as I pray with the latter verse wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth!
For many years, my social calendar was one of the most important things to me without even realizing this fact. As I get dressed for Church this morning, I think of the many selfless individuals who work behind the scene so that the service goes smoothly. Hebrews 13:8 comes to thought as it reads, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” How humbling and comforting are those words to me as my heart fills with gratitude for Church services throughout.