I recently attended a funeral for a young man who died too soon, leaving a wife and three young girls. The sadness overwhelms at times and it makes me wish I could be Jesus, just for a few minutes, just long enough to say, as He did, “arise.”
But then, I realize that He doesn’t need me to do His work for Him. He has already done it. He has already said that wondrous, mysterious word and brought that young man into His kingdom, given him time to have a productive, full life here on this earth, and then brought Him home, to the place where he has wanted to be, as a believer in Christ.
Often, especially during these difficult days when we constantly hear about a worsening pandemic, the world seems off kilter and full of so much pain and suffering it overwhelms us. And we want to be Jesus. We want to snap our fingers and make it all better. But He is and has already been at work. He has a plan for this earth, for each one of us, a plan that goes far beyond what we could ever imagine.
God told the Hebrew people exactly that when they were in circumstances that were full of pain and suffering – their captivity in Babylon. Living as slaves, they no doubt often cried out to God to bring them relief from all the suffering and pain they experienced and saw around them.
This was His answer – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
At this time of year some of us are in circumstances that are made even more difficult by all the joy and/or jollity around us. Our lives have been turned upside down. And sadness overwhelms.
Here are a few things we can do when that happens:
Look up. When we see all those decorated Christmas trees, look up. Look for the star or the angel on the top. And know Jesus is with you.
Look around. There are others who are struggling. Is there something you can do for them that will lighten their hearts, and yours?
Look ahead. Jesus has promised a bright future and given us a way to know we are secure in his hand.
Yes, there are times I wish I could be Jesus. But then I remember – He is the Messiah, the Living God, our hope and our comfort. We don’t need anyone or anything else.
A similar version of this devotional in included in Marcia’s book, Love in the Room, a collection of devotionals just for Christmas. It can be ordered from Amazon or by emailing the author – firstname.lastname@example.org