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December 21

Life… It Happens

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

As most everyone knows, I have had some “situations” in my life this year that have tested my ability to face them. For several years I have either flown or driven to Central Ohio to check on my mother every 6 weeks or 2 months. She was in a nursing home nearly 10 years as her health declined steadily. During that time, I have also gone to Ohio to attend the birthdays and funerals of my extended family for my immediate family as I am the oldest in my family.

All that pressure wore on me and made me question my devotion to my mother in Ohio and my family here in Texas. Every time I let myself question where I needed to be, God would show me that my mother and my family here supported me no matter where I was. It was at those stressful times that I would slow down and pray for help so that I would know where I belonged. (I pray at all times, but this was when I would stop and pray specifically about my concerns.)

Finally, on July 4th of this year, my mother joined my dad, the angels and God. I truly believe she is doing everything now with my dad as she plays piano, sews, crochets and cooks happily.

Life-Baking-Fruitful-Serving-Love-Advent-FUMC.jpg[Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash]

I thank the Lord that He has given me the peace and understanding of where I belong. I am glad to have done what I did, but I am glad to be here.

Jackie Gruber

Father God, life doesn’t stop for holidays and Jesus showed up in the middle of it all. Not many took notice of His arrival because of politics, religion, illness, financial needs, family concerns. Show us this Christmas season how You came to be with us in all of life. To show us the way through it and reveal Your love for us. May we find Your peace and put our hope in You as we walk through the daily drama of life both expected and unexpected. Amen.

 Additional Scriptures: 2Corinthians 5:14-15, John 10:9-10, Philippians 1:21-24, 2Thessalonians 1:11-12

Songs of Praise: Psalm 109

Let’s cry out to God for help in the reading of Psalm 109. (Click on the link to read God’s Word.)

At first glance I’m a little taken aback by the words of the psalmist. The requests he makes to God regarding his accuser seem over the top. Prayer counted as sin. A short life. Children left fatherless. I found myself wondering if this is an appropriate response to accusation.

Then I remembered…

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

Revelation 12:10

We have an enemy, an accuser. One who will go to great lengths to accuse us, slander our names, even try to convince us there is no hope. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. There is a war we cannot see with our human eyes, but it is war just the same. We must stand strong, fully clothed in the armor of God, and pray like the psalmist.

Don’t misunderstand, this is not a prayer against our brothers and sisters, this is our prayer against the enemy. The one who accuses us day and night before God.

Where do we turn when we recognize our weakness? To whom do we run?

Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
 Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it!
 Let them curse, but you will bless!
They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!
 May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;
may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!

Psalm 109:26-29

Our help comes from the Lord. He made the heavens and the earth and He will surely take care of our accusers. There will come a day when the enemy of our souls will be no more. And until then, we stand. Asking the Father for His help. Trusting Him in the battle.

Father God, remind each day, my battle is not against flesh and blood but against an unseen enemy. Bless me with the faith to stand firm and to trust You in the battle.