Abundant Living Vol. XVII, Issue 50

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”     Isaiah 55:8 

Blessings, as we have all no doubt experienced, sometimes show up disguised as trouble, disappointment, heartache, even tragedy.  I think back to the time as a young man in my early twenties, freshly discharged from active military duty and eager to get back in “circulation”, my first date upon return was with a girl named Donna.  We seemed to hit it off and have a nice time together, so we arranged another date.  But several days later she called and broke the date.  I was disappointed, of course, but what bruised my fragile ego even more was when as an alternative she offered to set me up with a friend (translate, don’t bother to call me again).  But I decided to take a chance and call Donna’s friend anyway.  Recently, her friend and I celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary; for there, disguised as a bruised ego, I received the blessing of meeting the love of my life.

Imagine the disappointment two thousand years ago when the long-awaited Messiah appeared not as a warrior-king riding in on a white horse as everyone had hoped, rather as a helpless baby born on a bed of straw in a barnyard to a teenage girl and her husband from an obscure Galilean village.  Worse, fast forward thirty-three years later, and despite all his great miracles and profound teachings and the multitude of followers he had gathered, to be executed in the cruelest fashion as if the worst of criminals.  What had appeared to be nothing but trouble, disappointment, heartache, and tragedy all rolled up in one brief lifetime, was nothing less than a disguise for the greatest blessing the world has ever known, when Christ reappeared from the grave three days later.

What an amazing story beginning to end, a baby born in a sheep pen who grew up to lead and teach masses the greatest lessons ever taught, only to be nailed to a cross where he suffocated and bled to death.  Think about it, Easter would never have occurred if the child had not been born on Christmas.  Nor would there be reason to celebrate Christmas – imagine no lights, no trees, no carols, no presents, no Santa Claus – if the Savior had not risen on Easter.  Only God could deliver such a blessing in disguise.  “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.  Abundant Living will return in January 2022.

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