Sunday, Dec. 22 – Christa Edwards

22 Dec

Sunday, Dec. 22 – Love

Today’s Scripture:
Psalm 145:13-14

Growing up, one of the most beautiful things I learned from my mom was to journal. Every morning, I watched my mom spend time alone with the Lord, reading through Scripture, and then writing out in her journal her deepest prayers and longings. It was a discipline that I adopted as my own and one that has sustained me in the darkest times of my life. I write out my prayers and laments to the Lord so I can remember the faithfulness of the LORD in my life, because, honestly, it’s incredibly easy for me to forget. It’s easy to forget how the LORD has provided for me or how he has sustained me or how he has comforted me or how he has shown me grace. But every once in a while, I’ll bring out old journals and begin reading through them. I begin reading through the exclamation marks of joy and the tear stained pages of sorrows, and, in that sacred moment, my journal becomes a tangible way for me to remember that even in my darkest and loneliest nights or in my greatest moments of rejoicing, the LORD has been and will continue to be good and faithful and trustworthy, regardless of my circumstances.

If you don’t know me, one of my favorite things to study is the Old Testament because in it I find stories of men and women of faith, who have been through the rigors of this life, wrestling with the LORD, encountering him in the midst of the chaos of their lives, and being significantly changed because of it. The more I read the Old Testament, the more I find myself in the stories and relate to the people’s struggles and sins and redemption. Often times, I find myself relating to the Hebrew people as they wander about the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. After seeing the mighty hand of God rescue them, perform incredible acts of power, provide food for them, and protect them, they begin to complain. They complain about their sustenance, they complain about how dirty the wilderness is, and they complain about the season of life that they are in, proclaiming that it would be better to be back in Egypt as slaves. The people don’t realize that in this season of the wilderness, they’re being prepared for their life of freedom. It’s a difficult transition to go from slavery to freedom, especially when slavery is all one has known. It’s a whole lot easier to be fearful and to worry and to want to go back to slavery when it’s the only life we’ve known. It’s a whole lot easier, but it isn’t better.

What is better is learning to believe that the LORD is with us, even when we don’t feel his presence.  It’s learning that even when darkness and brokenness and evil surround us, the LORD is our light and our salvation. It’s learning that fear has no place where the love of God reigns. It’s learning that even when we don’t see ourselves being prepared in the wildernesses for lives of freedom, the LORD is molding and shaping us to be participants in his kingdom. It’s learning to trust that we are part of a greater story, the narrative of the LORD’s love and faithfulness and redemption of his people.

My favorite Hebrew word is the word hesed. Hesed is often translated mercy or loving-kindness, but it can also be translated steadfast-love or covenant faithfulness. These concepts of the steadfast love of the LORD and his faithfulness to us can’t be separated. His love and his faithfulness are what sustain us in the dark and lonely seasons of life, when we are fearful and hurting and wanting to go back to slavery in our own Egypts—whatever they might be. When we begin to remember the faithfulness of the LORD, how he has provided for us and been merciful to us and redeemed us and given us grace that is sufficient, it is then that the shackles of fear begin to break loose and the love of God can permeate our weary souls and reign in our lives, lifting us from our brokenness.

As we approach this Christmas, my prayer for us is that we would remember how the LORD has been good and faithful and trustworthy to us as individuals, and to us as a community. I pray that we would see how the love of God has calmed our hearts when the things in our life have broken us and caused us to fear. And lastly, I pray that we would remember that in any season that we find ourselves within, whether we are on the mountain tops of joy or in the valleys of sorrow, that from mountain to mountain and from valley to valley, our God sustains us and leads us in his hesed, his faithfulness and his perfect, steadfast love, that he lavishes upon us.

-Christa Edwards

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One Response to “Sunday, Dec. 22 – Christa Edwards”

  1. Jessica McCoy December 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Beautifully said my friend.

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