As we begin 2014 daily life for many looks very different then it did beginning 2013. They are facing the challenge of living with a new normal. Circumstances outside their control have changed life as they knew it.
Yesterday I learned of a young family who is moving in with parents for 6 months while their new home is being built. It could be quite an adjustment.
I sat behind an elderly lady in church this morning who has experienced a devastating loss. I suspect she is recently widowed. Where does she find comfort & strength in doing life without her partner?
Other friends are devastated by financial stress & loss of a business.There are days when belief in God’s provision or even guidance seem a bit remote.
Hundreds of families in our area are still living in emergency shelters as a result of the floods six months ago. Hope of ever getting back to normal is fading. What does normal look like?
What was unthinkable in January 2013 has become the new normal.
Mary & Joseph were living with a new normal. They had left Nazareth & traveled to Bethlehem to comply with a census. They had a new born baby shortly after they arrived. They couldn’t return to Nazareth. They had no house, no job & few if any supportive relationships. They re-established their lives & probably lived in Bethlehem for about 2 years. They then were exiled to Egypt. How did they do it?
If we read Christmas Story & stop after the part where the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told (Luke 2:21) we are going to feel let down. There must be more to sustain us as we face our new normal.
Jesus is not only the Wonderful Counsellor who listens & speaks but is Mighty God who has acted & will act on our behalf.
The clue to how Mary stayed strong in faith & walked in her destiny to parent Jesus is found in Luke 2:19 .
Mary treasured up all these things pondering them in her heart.
Mary replaced Worry with Worship.
She remembered & reflected on what God had done (thanksgiving) & who He is (praise) for her & her little family. She could then surrender (worship) to His destiny for her day by day in the new normal.
Angela Nazworth wrote a post Unwrapped: The After Christmas Blues in which she said :
The fastest, most surefire way to fight and win against the after-Christmas blues is to remember that the story doesn’t end with the chorus of angels and a visit from wise men.
If you stop there, the story – although beautiful – ends and you, the reader … are left wanting more … no … needing more.
The story of Christmas doesn’t end in a manger or on a cross or anywhere in ancient Israel. The story of Christmas continues today. It rushes forth with passion when we sing songs of praise. It covers our fears, our failings, our inadequacies. It gives us the power to speak truth and act with kindness and love.
Treasure and Ponder In Your Heart
God With Us
Today’s music video is Mary, Did You Know? Enjoy !