27. Packing Up
[Doodle by Tara at Doodle Through the Bible; download the free coloring page on her blog post. This devotion and doodles are our Christmas gift to you and we pray God bless you richly.]
Thank you for joining me on this journey of advent devotions. This devotion is for Christmas Day and I am left wondering what one more journey theme I can churn out of my head. I encourage you to spend time this day going directly to your Bibles and reading the Christmas story as only God can tell it true and best. Faith comes from hearing, directly from God Himself in His Word, not by anything we read in a devotion.
Jesus came to us as a little babe, but He is anything but little. What He has done for us thousands of years before we were even a twinkling in our mother’s eye was, is, and will continue to be huge. His gift to us exceeds any anticipation we have experienced during advent and it will exceed any expectations when He comes again.
What happens after Christmas? Christmas is not just a day in December. Every day is Christmas. What shall we pack for the journey? Do we pack for just ourselves or are we on a mission trip?
In scouting for a badge, my sons each took a hiking trip with the troop and their Dad down a trail into the forest with only what they could carry on their back for an overnight. I can still see in my memory my young sons loaded down with a pack that stretched far above their heads and below their bottoms. A mother just smiles secretly inside at such cuteness. It had an internal metal frame with straps for the sleeping bag or bedroll. Choosing what to carry to keep the load light, yet being prepared, was a careful process. A few necessary items were a map, first aid, flashlight, tarp, rope, canteen, mess kit, food, cooking kit, bug spray, and dry socks. The stories told upon their return, especially if it rained, were always fun to hear.
One time I asked my oldest son to reflect on his favorite memories of scouting and I realized every good memory involved bad weather. The snow, the extreme cold, the rain (oh, the mud!), and the horrible winds and storms were memorable.
What shall we pack for our life journey after Christmas? How shall we be prepared? Choosing what to carry to keep the load light, we shed off all extra baggage we are carrying in our hearts. A few necessary items are God’s Word (our map), God’s Word (a lamp to my path), and God’s Word (spiritual food).
God packs us with mercy and grace, love and peace, and so much more. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19. Our needs are met according to His glory, for His Kingdom. What I may believe is a need, God may see as unnecessary.
God does not promise us an easy life journey. Sometimes it rains and we walk through the miry clay. “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2 Our life journey experiences through the storms are the ones we remember the most. These are the ones that teach us, that draw us nearer to God, and that we remember because they have meaning. Ultimately, our journey ends with our feet set upon the rock, Jesus Christ, who secures our steps toward heaven.