Inspiration, Encouragement & Instructions
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
Advent, Week 3
The lyrics to on of my favorite Christmas songs go like this:
Lead us to a place
This year, the lyrics seem to speak to my soul with more intensity than in the past. Living during a pandemic has a way of moving many of our thoughts and conversations, along with plans and habits, toward the topic of safety. Mandates, recommendations, guidelines, and prayers center around safety and it is actually quite hard to not allow any or all of these to come up in our thought-processes and decisions. 2020 has been hard on all of us as it has taxed our emotions and decision-making processes in ways we have never experienced before.
The reality is that no matter what we do, there is the possibility that we won’t be safe. We or someone we love will experience illness, loss of income, isolation or loneliness. Even if we make all the “right” decisions, our physical safety is not guaranteed
To some, this can cause great doubt and fear. To others, the Eeyors in our lives, it simply is the way life goes. And then there are some who find themselves somewhere in the middle--trying their best to make safe decisions, without letting it consume them, and also accepting life as it comes.
In recent days, the lyrics in, The Prayer, reminded me of another option we have. Faith.
Faith flips the paradigm because it pulls us out of simply viewing our lives from the physical to seeing that there is more to this life than what happens to us on Earth.
Faith reminds us that safety isn’t the end goal, Heaven is. Faith gives us the strength of perspective to choose to believe that God is working out ALL things for good--in times of comfort and times of distress.
It isn’t our choices or ability to ignore the plight happening around us that will keep us physically and emotionally safe, it is our faith. And as the song asks, we need a guide to get us to that place where faith is what allows our hearts and souls to feel safe.
We can’t get there on our own. We need Jesus’ sacrifice, the Holy Spirit's power and God’s grace to be able to feel that we are living in safety. How can you lean into this reality this holiday season?
At our Christmas gatherings this year, how can we change the conversations in ways that guide us all toward seeing that faith is our safest place?
My prayer is that during this advent season, each of us would remember that faith is where we find our safe place, not by ignoring or attempting to control what is happening around us, but by shifting your eyes upward to the one who has gone to prepare the safest place of all for us--Jesus.
Table Talk: Prompts to get you talking about FAITH around the table
Please, take a dinner-time one night this week and talk about the following at home:
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: