Friday, December 23, 2016

The Heart of Christmas: We Are Heard and Answered

Not every gift given this time of year is wrapped in bright paper and tied with satin ribbon. 

The little prayer group of which I'm a part is rejoicing over the gift of a young man with a head injury who's improving, the gift of effective evangelism in a communist country, gifts of service performed in ways that pleased the recipient. We're rejoicing over the gift of time with loved ones, the hope of redemption, the promise of God at work in our lives.

No matter what gifts are under my tree, the best gift (after Jesus, of course) will be the week spent with my son in his new home. We've laughed and played together. We've shared hugs and love.

Our time together, only just begun, was summed up nicely by Ryan's girlfriend, Hannah. "I'm having the time of my life." 

I am, too, precious ones. I am, too.

For a few days, the rush of my usual life has been set aside. I'm still working and writing, of course, because I'm still breathing, but it's an easier pace. 

This morning, I was reminded anew that we're only passing through this broken world. The joys and sorrows will end and everything will be made new. 

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; 
and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create..." 
Isaiah 65:17-18 nasb

There's a beautiful truth hidden in these words. "I create." The verb form translated here as "create" is an active participle. It indicates an action in its unbroken entirety. 

God creates. Ongoing. Unbroken.

He didn't create at the beginning of the earth and stop. He continues to create, to shape, to fashion. 

He's not only planning to create a new heaven and a new earth somewhere in the distant future. Our God is continually at work, changing the circumstances of this world, changing our hearts and lives. 

No more weeping. No more sorrow. No more shortened lifespans. No more memories of our losses or hurts. 

Instead, life, solidity, endurance, plenty. 

In this ongoing act of creation is a gift too stunning to comprehend. It's so big, most of us don't even try to receive it, much less understand it.

"It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; 
and while they are still speaking, I will hear." 
Isaiah 57:24 nasb

He answers before we call. 

He hears before we speak. 

He knows. He cares. He's involved. 

He's at work. 

Does that knock you to your knees? It should. 

The God who created the universe, the One who holds the stars in place in the sky, hears us. You and me. 

He hears our hearts before a word is on our tongue. 

He answers before the words are out of our mouths.

I'll be pondering this until Jesus calls me home. He knows me inside out. 

Today, let's savor the incredible gifts God has given. The gift of presence. The gift of knowing. The gift of answering. 

As we savor, let's give back with praise and thanksgiving. There is no other God like our God, who knows us, and loves us anyway.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Great Love of God Demonstrated for Us

As you consider your year-end giving, please remember this ministry, which is totally dependent upon the support of those who partner financially with us. 

If God leads you to help support this ministry of prayer and outreach, here's the link to give: Global Outreach Acct 4841 If you'd rather use a check or money order, make it out to Global Outreach. Remember to put "Account 4841" on the "for" line. Mail it to:
Global Outreach, PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802
#Jesus #Christmas