Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The First Nowell"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (NIV 2011)
When my sister's husband became ill, she had to learn to do many things around the house which she had never done before. There were decisions to be made by her alone, which had once been jointly made. There were items to be fixed that her handy husband had always gladly looked after. There were finances and a business to be managed that she had never handled alone. Indeed, it was a hard time, and it became even more difficult after his death.
Yet over and over again, as we discussed our weekly endeavours with one another over long-distance telephone calls, she would tell me that amidst all of her frustration and discouragement, and yes, even anger at some stupid repair that wasn't cooperating with her, as she called out to God, step by step, He instructed her and taught her how to proceed.
In the same way, He had instructed and taught the holy family, the shepherds, and the wise men the very steps that they were to take within their journey of life.
Mary was instructed by the Holy Spirit as to the next step for her life. As an unmarried virgin, she was asked to bear the very Son of God.
Joseph, her husband-to-be, was guided by God through a dream to go ahead with his decision to take Mary as his wife, even though she was pregnant. After the birth of Jesus, other dreams instructed him to flee with his family to Egypt before Herod had opportunity to kill the infant, and then, in due time, to leave Egypt and go back to Nazareth.
The shepherds, who were going about their daily business of caring for their sheep, were told to leave those sheep and go to the manger where the Saviour of mankind lay in swaddling cloths.
The wise men were guided by a star to find the Son of God, and then by a dream, to return home by a different route so as to avoid reporting back to the king.
Yes, so long ago, God faithfully revealed each step along the way for Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men. But His faithfulness in guiding the steps of His people did not end there. He has guided mine for many years. He guided my sister's as she had to navigate new waters as a caregiver and then a widow.
If you are willing to seek His face and open your heart to the leading of His Holy Spirit, He will do the same thing for you today and tomorrow and the next day, no matter what your situation, until He guides your final steps to be with Him in heaven, where we shall see Him face to face and together begin the next steps in our eternal journey.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that we can count on You to instruct us and teach us in the way that we need to go: Your way. Thank You that You do and will continue to counsel us with Your loving eye upon us as we move forward step by step to the destination of meeting You face to face to begin the next step in our eternity journey. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.