Where Are You Looking?

Monday, December 8, 2003

Isaiah 61:1-2 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. (NIV)

As Christmas approaches, I am reminded of a habit my collie, Belle, exhibits whenever we are out walking, and another person or vehicle approaches us from behind. Instead of continuing to look forward while she is walking, she tries to go ahead while constantly looking backwards over her shoulder!

Needless to say, our progress is much impeded, and sometimes must even come to a halt, as walking forward while looking backwards just doesn't work very well.

For many, the holiday season can also be a time of seeking to walk forward while the eyes of the heart are constantly gazing backwards. Memories of loved ones now gone, and happier times now lost, creep into the present, bringing within them renewed sorrow, pain, and loneliness. Emotions and feelings have the power to paralyze us from moving forward to embrace both the present and the future hope which God still has planned for us along the pathway of life.

Life is not always easy, but that's one of the main reasons God gave us Christmas — Jesus Christ with us. Life's circumstances and memories may often seek to stop or imprison us in the tracks of despair, sorrow, and hopelessness, but in Christ we have new hope, freedom, healing, and joy available for the pathway of life every day!

The difference between walking forward to receive God's precious gifts, and being stopped in our tracks and losing them, depends upon where we're looking!

Prayer: Father God, most Wonderful Counsellor, thank You for the gift of Christmas: Jesus. Thank You for the precious gifts of life that are offered to us through Him. Strengthen and encourage us to turn our eyes upon Him, day by day, that we might walk forward by faith to receive His gifts into our lives, and that we, in turn, might also share them with others. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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