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Saturday, December 26, 2009

All Is Well

So it's Christmas night. The weeks of anticipation, the dozens of cards and gifts, and the phone calls, text messages and Facebook greetings have all been exchanged. The house is quiet and as I get ready to climb into a warm bed on a cold winter night, I'm reflecting on this Christmas and where I've been focused.

You know, God has a way of focusing us where He wants us throughout various stages of our lives. A good example would be the fact that He drew me to a study of the book of Revelation just before Christmas this year. Of course it's the last book of the Bible. It speaks of the terrible things to come as God judges the world and everyone in it. Simultaneously, it speaks of the unmatchable hope that we have in Jesus Christ --- who returns to judge the world and take us all home with Him.

I sat in our church on Christmas Eve and listened to what at first sounded like a long-winded sermon. As it concluded though, I realized there was an incredibly important point in it. It's a point that we cannot afford to miss. I considered that the pastor is a pretty sharp cookie to select such a point to make on Christmas Eve ... in what may be one of the most unnerving years in modern history.

What was his point? It's really quite simple. God stepped into history more than 2,000 years ago, in that little town of Bethlehem. And because He did that, all is well. No really, all is really very well indeed.

There are wars and rumors of wars. There is disease and famine. There are droughts. There are natural disasters. There is corruption. Global warming nags at us constantly. Inept governments seem to spiral out of control. Local and global economies struggle to keep from descending into an abyss. Terrorists attack, even on Christmas day.

And yet ... all is well. My past is inconvenient, at best. My present is uncertain. My future is intimidating. There are no answers. Only difficult questions. Threats and risks seem to swirl around me like stalking predators, ready to pounce and devour. But you see, because of what happened in that little town of Bethlehem, I have no fear. Because of that little baby's birth, the dynamics of all of life's tragedies changed forever.

It is said, sometimes in some corny fashion, that "Jesus is the answer." We might argue that this is an over simplification of the truth. There are those who think God gave us a brain and expects us to help ourselves. So they fret and worry and struggle. Ah, but those who belong to Christ, who are His slaves ... they do not struggle, fret or worry. Their yoke fits perfectly and their burden is light. We who follow Christ know that the wars, the sickness, the disasters and all those other issues in life --- they all belong to Him.

How did Jesus come to be the owner of my problems? He invited me to bring them to Him. I lay them at the altar all the time. Each new day seems to present me with another barking problem that threatens to devour and destroy me. I take it to the altar and give it to Him. He promised. My burden is light. He makes it that way.

So on this Christmas night in 2009, I am struck by the simple truth that all is well. It is very well indeed. I don't know what tomorrow has in store for me. But I am very clear on what Jesus has in store for me. So I tell my tomorrow to back off and behave itself. And all is well.

My prayer is that all is well for you too. If it is not, perhaps you need to stop telling God how big your problems are. Rather spend time telling your problems how big God is. And you'll soon find that in your life, in all things, all is well.

Merry Christmas.

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