Forest Lake Talks

December 15 Advent Devotional

December 15, 2020

We all find ourselves in a difficult time. Though we are blessed beyond measure, these days are difficult. The Coronavirus pandemic rages on, our mental and emotional health is stretched to the max, our democracy is being tested, racial strife consumes our streets, and the changing climate challenges our daily lives. Unease is near ubiquitous, and it is sometimes hard to face each day. During advent we are reminded that difficult times are not unique to the 21st Century. Imagine traveling on foot or donkey back miles and miles while in advanced pregnancy to a town far away to be counted for a census. Mary and Joseph must have been stretched to the max as well and wondered – “Where will our next meal would be found? Where will we sleep tonight? Why is a census was needed anyway? How can we handle all this stress? Our child is born, and his first night on earth the only place he can sleep is in a manger in a dirty stable. Not quite what we had imagined or hoped. Will we survive this? Will things get better?”

That same baby who began life in such a stressful situation showed us through his life and teachings that there are positive and meaningful ways to live our lives even when facing stress and hardship. And Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4: 12-13

Creator God, during good times and bad times, we know that we can call on you for help. Guide us, comfort us, and strengthen us so that we might face each day as it comes knowing that through your son we are given the precious gift of grace. Help us to face each difficult day with a positive attitude. Amen

Submitted by: Stuart Hunter

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