There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. Â Â Â Luke 2:8-9 (WEB)
I know it is July but I recently noticed several stores having â€œChristmas in Julyâ€ sales so I thought I would read the Christmas Story again today. And I found a â€˜gold nuggetâ€™ from God!
Here are the shepherds out in the field, in the middle of the night, and they are watching sheep. I donâ€™t know a lot about sheep but I would think that the night shift in the life of a shepherd would be dull. Shepherds want the night to be dull! Any disturbance is going to involve carnivorous animals and/or poachers! The disturbance that night was like nothing they could have imagined!
â€œChange always brings fear before it brings faith.â€ (Max Lucado, God Came Near, ISBN: 0849944546)
TRUE! When God is leading me into a deeper level of faith, it is going to be characterized by change. Faith does not grow in my comfort zone! Faith grows in the garden of adversity that is found on the craggy slope of my fear. It is the moment when I wonder, â€œWhere are You, God??!â€ There is a a few minutes or a few hours or a few days when I keep looking at myself and do not turn to God and the testimony of His Word or His actions in the lives of others â€“ in my own life! Even in the glory of the Lord, the shepherds are terrified. Or maybe it is because of the glory that they are afraid.
The angel said to them, â€œDonâ€™t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. vv. 10-11 (WEB)
As I turn to the Lord and see His glory, it is important that I listen to Godâ€™s messengers and not â€“ the other guy who will try to whisper hateful, destructive garbage into my ear. â€œDo not be afraid!â€ God wants to give me Good News! God wants me to draw closer to Jesus and be the disciple that He has envisioned me to be! Jesus said that He wants me to have a full (or abundant) life. (John 10:10) What does that mean to God? What does it mean to me? The answer to that comes as I spend time with God listening! Listening to God but also listening to what He has planted in my heart.
In faith I find the assurance about what I am hoping for; even those things I have not yet seen.Â Â Â Â Â Hebrews 11:1 (my paraphrase)
Is the wind of change â€“ I mean, faith â€“ blowing through your life today??!