October 21, 2019
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17 (NIV)
The calendar announces we’re entering a season of interruptions. Some we enjoy. Some we don’t.
We enjoy interrupting diets for special desserts, work for staff parties and bill paying for menu planning. But we could do without the Chicago snowstorm that grounds the Atlanta flight and strands us in Albuquerque. We could do without the midnight phone call from Cousin Bert saying he and Mary Lou and their kids are going to be in the area for the holidays. Could they park their Winnebago in the driveway for, “Oh, we promise, no more than 10 days”?
Interruptions. They can stir fear and anxiety. Is this season hard for you? Perhaps the busy social schedules of some only highlight your empty one. Images of families together reinforce your pain of a family apart. Or, the sudden diagnosis. Emergency rooms do not wear Christmas decorations well.
If you’re looking forward to December 26 more than December 25, I have a reminder for you: In spite of the chaos, Christ came. Through a scandalous pregnancy, an imposed census, an untimely trip and an overcrowded inn, God triumphed in Mary’s story.
And He triumphed in Jesus’ genealogy in the book of Matthew. We don’t often mention the lineage of Jesus in context with His birth, but Matthew does. The list goes on for 16 verses. Yawn. Who needs to know about Tamar, Rahab and Ruth? Why does Matthew mention David and Solomon before he mentions Joseph and Mary?
He is making a point. The Messiah was born not because of His ancestors, but in spite of them. Tamar was abandoned. Rahab was a harlot. David was an adulterer. Solomon was a philanderer. In spite of sin and scandal, Christ came. In spite of racism and sexism, Christ came. In spite of chaos, Christ came.
Don’t you need that reminder? In your world of short nights, hard work and high stress, don’t you need to know Jesus holds it all together?
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).
God holds it all together. And He will hold it together for you. When everything shakes, God’s purpose remains unshaken. He is in His holy temple. His plan will not be derailed. God is unaffected by our storms. He is undeterred by our problems.
Remember the story of Joseph, sold into Egypt? Or Moses, watching flocks in the wilderness — is this what he intended to do with his life? Or Daniel, whose entire generation was marched into Babylonian captivity?
Joseph in prison. Moses in the desert. Daniel in chains. These were dark moments. Who could have seen any good in them? Who could have known Joseph was just one promotion from becoming the prime minister? Who would have thought God was giving Moses 40 years of wilderness training in the very desert through which he would lead the people? And who could have imagined Daniel would be the king’s counselor?
God has made a business out of turning tragedy into triumph. Most of all, He did this with Jesus on the cross.
Does this upcoming Christmas look like a difficult one? Take heart. God is still on His throne, still in control. He still makes princes out of prisoners, counselors out of captives, Sundays out of Fridays. And He still brings beauty out of Bethlehems.
He did then, for them. He still does now, for you and me.
Heavenly Father, You are in control, and yet so often I feel as if I have to hold it all together myself. Devastating interruptions make me doubt Your care for me and Your power over my life. Please remind me of Your presence in my life and of Your nearness to my heart today. Thank You for coming to earth, amidst all the chaos. Remind me that this time of year is a symbol of the lengths You will go to make Your love for me known. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 11:3-4, “‘When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.” (NIV)
Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (NIV)
Do you ever struggle with loneliness during the holiday season even though our culture says it's the most wonderful time of the year? You aren't alone. Don't miss our next Online Bible Study, Because of Bethlehem: Every Day a Christmas, Every Heart a Manger by Max Lucado. The 4-week study begins November 11. Sign up today!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s something you have no control over and need to release to the Lord’s care today?
How did today’s devotion strike you? Join the conversation, and share your thoughts with us!
© 2019 by Max Lucado. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson for their support of P31 Online Bible Studies and Encouragement for Today devotions.