CHRISTMAS: UNEXPECTED GLORY

“It passes like a red, green, and gold blur of lights, wrapping paper, and familiar carols.  Bombarded by gift requests, holiday programming, church pageants, and relatives, it seems that the most blessed of seasons may hit as hard and fast as a Texas tornado.

Christmas has commenced, yet instead of joy, peace, and glory to God, it produces physical, emotional and financial overload.  With all the activity and sensory stimulation, it is no surprise that we often become “thrill junkies”.  What a strange response to Christ’s humble birth.

Yet something that we desperately need is to be quiet and observant instead of continually seeking the blast of overwhelming images.  We need to learn that tranquility is to be cherished as a time to seek God.  It is amazing how much we can miss when we don’t take the time to be still and see how God is moving.

Who would have expected that an ordinary young shepherd boy could defeat a mighty warrior like Goliath?  And who would have guessed he would make a great king?  Yet David was able to accomplish great things through God’s provision (see 1 Sam. 17).

It was not through the spectacular and pretentious great wind, earthquake, or fire that God spoke to Elijah.  When God spoke to Elijah, He did so in a gentle whisper (see 1 Kin.19).

When Christ chose the disciples that would take His message to the world, He did not choose those who graduated first in their class at the rabbinical school.  Instead, He chose ordinary, uneducated fishermen who were willing to follow Him and become fishers of men (see Acts 4:13).

And no one in Israel would have anticipated how God would send the Messiah.  After all, God had told the prophet Haggai, “I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory” (Hag. 2:7).  Who could have guessed that meant that the birth of the Christ child would take place in a barn or that God’s salvation would be accomplished on a cross?  These were completely unexpected places to find God’s phenomenal glory displayed.  Truly, God works through the common to exhibit His great power.

Stopping in the midst of a hectic schedule and looking for ways God is working in our lives is an immensely valuable practice.  It’s in the simple things that God chooses to display His glory, and by looking for God in the everyday occurrences of life, we learn that nothing in their lives is beyond God’s care.

The unimpressive shepherd boy became Israel’s great king.  Burly, unschooled fishermen became the great disciples of the faith.  Elijah heard God in a whisper.  And the Messiah was born in a manger.  Ordinary things are used to display God’s power and He is still at work all around you, in the humble matters of life.  Who knows what amazing things He can do through you.

Therefore this Christmas, enjoy moments of silence and meditate upon God’s character and Word.  Learn to look for Him and to anticipate His glory in the most unexpected places.  Because in doing so, you will strengthen the foundation of your growing relationship with Christ- and isn’t that a great Christmas present?”

-Excerpt from: The Charles F. Stanley “Life Principles Daily Bible”, pg. 1560

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