Today is the first day of December. The Christmas season is well underway. I’m hearing Christmas songs playing on the radio. I’m seeing houses decorated with lights. I’m seeing cars, with trees strapped to the top. That always makes me smile.
I have seen a huge board outside our cafeteria, full of wishes of children for Christmas, in our Secret Santa program. There is everything from socks to bicycles on that board and all kinds of things in between. I saw many parents take an item at our Thanksgiving feast and then when an e-mail went out appealing for help with all that remained, I saw some of those same parents come and pick another item.
I have seen amazing generosity at the school I am blessed to work in. I have seen God at work in this season.
I have also seen an incredible amount of tragedy this season. Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is in ruins. A wild fire burned a huge portion of it. Many people lost their homes and some even lost their lives. But, I also saw the rain all Southerners had been desperately hoping and praying for that eventually helped to control those mountain fires.
I find it kind of interesting that while a good portion of the fires blazing in the Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina mountains appear to be man-made; it took the power of God to finally get the best of them.
In my own little town, there have been two families who lost a father within a week of each other and another family who lost a daughter. When a co-worker came by my desk with a post it note to ask me to pray for one of those families, I could see God at work. When my pastor’s wife asked me to pray for another, I could see God at work and when a brand new Facebook friend, asked for prayers for the third family, I could again, see God at work.
We live in a broken world on this side of Heaven. There’s sickness, and death, and tragedy here. There are wild fires that sometimes burn out of control. But, there’s beauty here too, and generosity that sometimes brings me to tears. Sure, there’s plenty of hate, but there’s more love and love trumps hate every time.
As I think about the celebration of the birth of our Savior, I find myself wondering if this season isn’t perhaps a season that the enemy seeks to attack us the most. The birth of Christ was really the official beginning of Satan’s demise and since deception and destruction are his mantra, wouldn’t he use this time to target believers?
I feel a deep urge to pray in this season, to pray for the people of Tennessee, and the people who are struggling with sickness, and the people who are struggling financially, and for the people who are mourning.
I pray that those who feel lost and alone, will find the comforting arms of Jesus. Maybe this season, what our country needs more than anything, is some prayer warriors, people who are willing to stand in the gaps for people who are too weary to pray for themselves. It’s possible that in this moment in time, it’s our opportunity to, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
Perhaps you would like to join me.
Have an awesome day!