Every year the scriptures that tell of Jesus’ birth reveal something new to me if I let them.

If I slow down and read them with fresh eyes, an open heart, and a prayerful disposition, God always unfolds a fresh message through His word.

This year, with Christmas approaching, a newly released book in my hand, and a heart filled with grief, I still come expectantly. God’s word does not disappoint. It is active, alive, and relevant every single day. It meets us in the highs and lows and speaks. The question is, are we listening?

Are we ready to hear? Are we ready to receive what is offered? Are we making room for the babe to dwell in our hearts and fill our lives with all he offers? Peace. Joy, Comfort. Strength.

In my need book, Jingle and Joy, Praying Beneath the Tree, I unfold a lesson learned from the Shepards. One I believe we can learn from as we enter into this busy season where the world pulls us hard and leave little room for getting quiet to listen.

Slow down, pause, rewind and remember.
• Slow down and watch over your flock (just our daily routine)
• Pause. When the to-do list is the size of Santa’s list, pause and ask yourself what can be eliminated.
• Rewind and remember.

Read Luke 2:1-20 with fresh eyes leaving room for the awareness of His presence.
In the wait, soften the noise of the world, and look for The King.
Listen for the joy. The sound of His voice in His word as you open the Bible.

What did you see in your Bible today as you opened it? What was fresh? 

Today, I experienced the God of Comfort waiting for me. 

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I found Mary praising God in the difficult. 

“and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.” Luke 1:47-49 NIV

His fresh message for me?

Jodie, I am with you in the difficult. I see you in the difficult. I am here to offer you comfort, reassurance, and the Mighty One is doing great things for you.

What is your difficult today? 

Mine? I lost my son October 25th of this year to a horrific accident caused by an impaired driver. I now walk through grief with my husband, daughter, and our family as we approach Christmas without our son.

Yours? Many I have heard from are experiencing loss and grief. Others are in need of jobs, struggle in marriage, have an illness that is eating away at them, and loved ones who don’t have the hope of Jesus.

Our difficult is different, our God the same. 

He is Immueal~ God with us.

He is El Rio~ God sees us.

He is there in the difficult and present in the wait. There is not one valley that we have to walk through alone.

Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

Psalm 23:4 NLT

Today come with fresh eyes, a heart like Mary, to a God who is speaking.

Come and make room for the babe. He wants to meet you in the difficult.

~ Praying with you and for you, beneath the tree,

Jodie