I have always had an attraction to the moon. . . this giant ball-shaped rock suspended in the sky that lights up our nights. For me it always stirs a sense of mystery looking up at the twinkling stars that are sprinkled around it, watching misty clouds floating idly by. Sometimes it’s full and round and so bright it casts a soft silver-blue light that glows upon the sleepy landscape, and silently shimmers across wind-swept waters. Other times there’s just the faintest sliver of light curving its way around the bottom edge of the moon, as if it had been plucked from the dark fabric of the sky, ever-so slightly dipped in white-liquid-light, and carefully placed right back onto the dark velvet canopy curving over the hushed willing night. A half moon always looks to me like a disk of light being pushed through a slit in the dark paper sky, the other half still hidden behind the inky blackness. No matter how it appears on any given night, one truth that is so fascinating about the moon is that it does not cast its own light, but is only reflecting the light from the ever-flaming sun. There are times when it seems so brilliant, you would think it was glowing from within, but the source of the glorious shine is always the same – the distant blaze of the sun. But who gave source to the sun with burning light so bright we’re unable to fully look upon it?
And God said,
“Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night,
and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.”
And it was so.
God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day
and the lesser light to govern the night.
He also made the stars.
God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth,
to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.
And God saw that it was good.
– Genesis 1:14-18
I’m not sure how anyone can look deep into the sky and not see the work of God. I just can’t. I’m certain that however young I was, the first time I really looked into the vastness of the sky, it took my breath away, and I knew with all of my heart and soul that the God who made it all, was speaking to me…. I knew that He knew me, and I really wanted to know Him. It’s taken all of these years, and I’m still getting to know Him, I still stand in awe when I look into the sky. Whenever I look up at the burning lights in the vault of the sky, my heart burns within me…
… and I long to be forever in the presence of the Everlasting Light.
Each year as fall begins to fade and the air turns colder, I promise myself that this year things will be different.
This year, I ponder quietly in my mind, I will not allow the days before Christmas to get filled up to overflowing. I will not allow stress to cause rivers of tears to start flowing, but somehow it seems each year, that promise gets broken along with a little piece of my longing heart.
I long for a Christmas where there is time to be still, to be silent, to be truly focused on the true meaning of Christ-mas, but so many other things tend to get in the way and soon the ways of this world seem to lead the way.
Somewhere in the middle of December I find the blinking lights, the holly-jolly Christmas music, the buying and baking, decorations and wrappings, all become trappings that tear out the joy that is supposed to be Christmas.
Still, whether I’m ready for it or not, Christmas day comes, though I feel somewhat numb, and actually look forward to it all being over.
When the drying-out tree gets flung to the curb, and the tinsel, and glitter, and bows find their way to the trash, I finally start to feel a little more relaxed, and that’s when I can reflect and find the warmth that was there all along in December.
The much slower pace feels like heaven-sent grace and finally I can see all of the “gifts” that were given and received.
The “gifts” are all the moments where hearts were truly connected, where eyes held each other with a smile, and love and laughter spilled into the room. They are the memories made, pictures framed in my mind that will stay long in my heart, time spent with family and friends in the here and now, because we never know what tomorrow will bring.
We never know what life will look like next December.
So I will treasure these gifts and never forget that life itself is a gift.
I did not choose to be born, I did not choose my personality or my family, but God chose all of these things for me. He also chose to give me the Greatest Gift ever given.
The gift of a Savior, through Whom is found eternal life.
The gift of Himself, becoming flesh to dwell among us. The Light of the World sent to light the way home. The baby placed in a wooden feeding trough, willing to place Himself on a wooden cross one day, so that every one of my sins, and yours, could be forgiven.
This is the Greatest Gift.
The Gift that not one of us deserves, but was freely given because,
God. So. Loved. The. World!
This world may try to take Christ out of Christ-mas, but it will never take Christ out of me.
And as Scripture teaches, one day – EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.
Not just Lord of Christmastime,
but LORD of ALL times.
He is the One who created time itself, Who holds all time in His hands, and Who is coming again when time as we know it will end.
On that day there will be no doubt, that the Christmas story, and every Living Word in the Bible was absolute Truth written by God who wanted us to come to Him,
Welcoming the New Year with lots of snow and this warm and wonderful thought;
The future is as bright
as the faithfulness of God.
~ Ann Voskamp
How bright the future is indeed for those who have put their faith and trust in the unfailing faithfulness of God.
Like the light of a thousand suns our future shines stunningly in Him.
No matter what trials the days ahead will hold, we can find rest and peace in knowing there is One who is holding every single day in His mighty hands. He is here with us now, but He is also already there. . . At the end of our days. . . standing ready to welcome us home.