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Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Week 2

But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you. Isaiah 43:1-4 MSG*

 I’m checking in with you to see how you’ve progressed in this second week of December! I’m feeling a bit more cheerful since last week’s devotion and it is beginning to look like Christmas around here. I’d love to say Mary (or Martha) is winning the race, but she isn’t yet. Mrs. Claus is on track, but Martha Stewart has definitely taken the lead this week. This is exciting because in recent years, she has barely finished the race before the season was over.

We’ve been involved in a home renovation project for 3 years that has included moving in and out of our home twice. With all this moving, my decorations have been in storage and frankly, I’ve forgotten about most of them. Because of this, I was really looking forward to getting out all the décor of past years as well as the oohing, aahhing of memories flowing.

It is our family’s tradition to keep the same stocking throughout the years and it was with a swelling heart I pulled out our daughter’s furry pink stocking and our boys larger jester type stockings. It was after this when I hit my rock and my hard place. Our cat of 17 years passed from old age in June and our dog for 8 years passed away suddenly in October and when I came across their stockings, well, I just sat down and cried.

Gone was the excitement of the Christmas décor. It was replaced by sadness and confusion. Do I put up the stockings? Do I keep them packed away? How must people feel who have lost a person in this past year? How do they move into this season without their person?

Each of us must struggle with our own answer remembering that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8. I think I will move through this season holding onto God’s loving Words: That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. Isaiah 43:4

We can feel sad and confused without feeling hopeless. God is our hope and He has a plan for our future. That future includes this season we are in, Christmas 2020. It will be harder in different ways for some of us more than others, but one thing is the same as every other Christmas we’ve experienced. Jesus, our Savior is born.

*Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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