Monday, December 22, 2014

His gifts... always what we need in advance.

The house is peaceful with the quietest strains of Christmas music filtering through the house, and the kiddos are out playing with neighbor friends. I've had a message on my heart to share and whenever I feel that press, I try my hardest to sit down and let the words flow, as it's for a reason- an often timely blessing to my own heart, as I process out loud, exactly what God is speaking to me.  If that blessing carries over to you, it's all Him and to Him be praised. {I snapped a few shots around the house with the hint of sunlight teasing me through the windows and around here we do little happy dances when it peeks it's golden head out.  It's fleeting but appreciated.}

{yes I am ignoring that laundry}

Each season, I ask the Lord to reveal something of the old familiar Christmas story to my heart that is new or fresh.  I tend to yawn my way through the angel Gabriel, his glad tidings, his "do not fear speech"... I "yada-yada-yada" my way past the wise men, the star, the shepherds and desperately try to envision the manger scene, cling to the messy, the smells we tidy up in our manger scenes, and not settle in on ridiculous focus shifters like "why is Mary always dressed in blue," that distract and unfocus me this time of year.  Some years I succeed and it's fresh and I weep.  Some years I try and try but can't capture the emotional attachment to this story and then I beat myself up like if I had shopped earlier or baked less, or hosted in a more peaceful fashion... perhaps that emotional moment wouldn't have eluded me.  Some years it simply is... simple.  A baby.  A sacrifice.  God's gift. 

This year I focused on finding Peace.  Chaos reigns in many extensions of my life right now, and though none were caused by me, they have touched me and shifted me.  I needed, thirsted, and drove myself hard toward peace at all cost this season.  Focusing on intentionality like there was a prize at the end, and one quiet moment it finally came to me.  That fresh chunk, hitting me hard in the chest and burning my eyes with emotion so deep and hot it couldn't be ignored.

The gifts.  It was the gifts. 

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh.  Brought reverently by the Magi, and worth fortunes back then.  If you're familiar with the story, and most people are, you'll remember that after baby Jesus had been born, King Herod set forth an awful plan to kill all the baby boys in the land, hoping to eliminate this threat to his throne.  The angel appeared to Joseph and warned him to escape to Egypt.  Of course Joseph unquestioningly got up and fled, taking his new bride and baby.

It occurred to me that a lifestyle change such as that, fleeing into a different country, leaving family and property and possibly a good many possessions behind can't have been an inexpensive venture.  If they were to begin anew, it would have cost them something.  They would have had needs that oh, I don't know... a little gold, frankincense and myrrh might have come in handy for.  There were many significant reasons for the exact gifts, and tons of symbolism for the choices the Magi made, but that wasn't what spoke to me.  What spoke to me was the very practical fact that God knew what Mary and Joseph would be facing, packing up Joseph's carpentry business and moving countries suddenly like that.  And one can't really load a ton of that up on a donkey in the middle of the night.  However, God knew and He provided... ahead of time.  He knew exactly where they were headed in life. 

This was the exact fresh thing I needed to grasp today.  God knows and He provides.  He sees our futures and He knows the needs we are going to have once we get there, or are sent there or even while we wait for "whatever it is."  I don't know if anyone else is looking into an unknown future and unsure what will come. Maybe you're hoping for something that hasn't come to pass, or grieving over a "might-have-been" or waiting... and waiting... and waiting some more.  Perhaps you're even wondering if God will ever come through and move in your story. I don't know your story, but I sure needed the reminder that God's gifts often provide for what is to come.  Sometimes His gifts are of the heart, shaping and changing us so that our plan lines up with the plan He has had for us all along.  Sometimes His gifts are financial, or material, allowing us to do certain things or go certain places in life that we hadn't planned on.  But make no mistake, He knows what we need in advance, and He loves to provide in ways that always, always, always bring Him glory. This Christmas, let the peace of that knowledge flood your heart like the precious gift it is. 

Merry Christmas my friends.  I sure adore you.

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  1. Dearest Sasha
    Your post is so well timed and speaks to my heart. I have just restarted my journey with God after too many years away thinking I knew better. I have had a heavy heart with marriage and financial issues. Seeing this message reminds me He will provide for us if we just have faith. I have followed you since 2009 and I have to say that you, in part, are responsible for my return to God. Your honesty and faith have touched me and I want to thank you for that. I wish you and your family a joyous Christmas and all the best for 2015.

  2. What great insight you have Sasha - it's a wonderful gift that you have and that you are able to share with us, and I'm thankful for that.
    Gifts that come from the heart and that are given freely, without an expectation of receiving one back, are the best gifts of all.

  3. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your well written post came at an ideal time. My future, like everyones, is one of question and I am concerned and perhaps even a bit obsessed. The thought of back surgery inJanuary is consuming me. I , now, will patiently wait for my own gifts from the wise men. Merry Christmas and once again, thank you!

  4. I love this.
    I have never thought about the gifts. HOW have I never really focused on the gifts?
    You're so right. God knows what we need because he knows what's ahead....I needed these words this morning.
    Merry Christmas, Sasha....

  5. Beautifully said Sasha. Wishing you and yours a wonderful, blessed "Merry Christmas" filled with JESUS peace, presence, provision, and protection. You are dearly loved my sister!!

  6. Okay...where to begin. I have been up the last two nights worrying and praying over something in my life and then I read this. This reminder. This truth. Thank you for putting into words what I couldn't grasp. He does indeed work in mysterious ways.

  7. Sasha, God provides us with all we need, sometimes it may not be everything we think we want, but always what we need. Thank you for sharing your heart. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  8. Another great post! You are such a great writer and always write such heartfelt posts that speak volumns. I can look back over so, so many times in my 62 years that the Lord has worked tough situations for His glory and my good. May your Christmas be especially blessed and 2015 full of His blessings!!!

  9. Ahh, this is what my heart needed! Our family is going through a time of uncertainty, and our journey is completely relying on God's provision...and He IS faithful. But looking into the future can feel scary so I am claiming His peace. Thank you for speaking what He is showing you and blessing me! Merry Christmas!!! xoxo

  10. What a precious gift this post was to me tonight! I have never seen or thought about the gifts that the Magi brought or the significance of uprooting a life and what those gifts meant to them. Thank you friend for taking the time to ask God, to listen to His answer and for sitting down and sharing it with us! What a mighty work your blog space is a part of :) Have a blessed Christmas! Here's to God's provisions for the new year!!!

  11. You took me to church tonight, Sasha! Thank you so much for this beautiful message of God's provision. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

  12. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas Sasha and may 2015 be happy and peaceful for you, Margaret, England xx