Who Knows Where We Should Be?

Sunday, December 26, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Little Child The Saviour Came"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 2:12-13 – When it was time to leave, [the wise men] returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother," the angel said. "Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." (NLT)

One of the most helpless things that we ever do in life is to have the entire care of a newborn baby. The fact is that that is what the Christmas story is all about — not just any baby, but the Son of God.

I was just home from the hospital with my firstborn, nursing him on a bed by the window of our tiny basement apartment. Suddenly, there were flashes of gunfire only inches away from where the baby and I lay.

Without hesitation, I rolled the two of us right off the bed onto the floor, calling loudly for my husband.

"I heard the shots!" he said, rushing in. "I'll go see what's going on!"

"No! Don't go!" I said, but he was already out the door. I looked up at the window, which strangely had no bullet holes.

My husband came back looking puzzled. "When I told the landlord, he evicted us," he said slowly. "But he's been so happy about the baby coming."

We had to get out immediately, moving into a place that we couldn't afford, then finding yet another place through the minister of a local church, who followed up with a big box of groceries, like a guardian angel.

God's hand can sometimes be difficult to see. Matthew tells us that Mary and Joseph had to get out suddenly, as we did, when Jesus was still only a few days old. They couldn't go back home, the easy, old, familiar way that they had come. Neither could the wise men retrace their tracks.

Much later, we learned that the landlord's son played cards in a storage facility next door, with homeless men he would pick up downtown. As the baby and I lay on the bed, he shot and killed his latest companion. I had seen the flash of that gunfire and heard the shots. The landlord drove the man's body to the city dump and evicted us as possible witnesses. We would have always been in danger had we remained.

What seemed catastrophe was actually God's protection. Mary and Joseph didn't question why God had told them not to go back home. They just went. Neither did the wise men ask God why, when they went back another way. Their frequent presence on our Christmas cards reminds us that they, too, followed God's guidance, knowing that God knows what is ahead.

There is great peace in knowing that God has an intended place for each of us, which He continues to show us as we trust in Him.

Prayer: Dear Father God, we are aware of evil in the world, but we are grateful that Your power is greater than anything that darkness can throw at us. We ask for Your perfect plan to be unfolded in our lives. Thank You for showing us the way and for giving us Your peace as we journey. We are grateful for the story of Your protection and care for all those, like Jesus' family and the wise men, who follow where You lead, even though we may not understand. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thanks for sharing, Rose. Have a Happy New Year.

    Thank you, Rose, for your wonderful devotion to inspire us.

    Thanks, Rose, for an example of God’s protection in your life and ours.

    Thanks for sharing your incredible story, Rose! Wishing you and your family lots of peace, hope, love, and joy in 2022!

    Thank you for another fascinating devotional dear Rose.
    Hoping you and yours had a wonderful Christmas Day. Blessings for a happy and healthy 2022.

    Many thanks for your encouraging devotional today. May God continue to bless you this Christmas season and through the coming year.

    Good Morning, Rose
    As I was reading this amazing story and devotional, I had a feeling you wrote it. God bless and may we always be on the path God has for us. Sending blessings for 2022.

    What a heart-pulling experience Rose! The horrors humanity inflicts on each other is hard to comprehend. The evil is active. May the Almighty surround you and others in such predicaments.

    Rose, what a precious treasure to have your live-action story play on my iPhone. How vividly you bring the truths of the Bible into my mind and heart.
    May God’s richest blessings continue to pour over you.

    Merry Christmas, Rose.
    Thank you for another excellent message.

    Good morning, Rose.
    You write the most interesting and inspirational stories.
    May God bless you as you share God’s Word.
    Merry Christmas.

    Rose, another great one! You have a unique way of relating God’s presence in your life and serve as an encouragement to others.
    Thanks for sharing.
    (North Carolina)

    This devotional really put me right in the scene immediately. Very personal and relevant in these dark days. The message continues to be important in my life, doing the next right thing even though I can’t see the whole picture.

    Hi Rose,
    Your story was a comfort to me today, as we prepare to travel long distances. Thank you for the reminder and confirmation that God’s power is greater than any evil. I have peace because of Emmanuel. He is with us whatever we do and wherever we go.

    Hello and Merry Christmas:
    Thank you for this very vivid account of what transpired with your husband and infant child. What a harrowing experience that must have been for you all and then to be unceremoniously evicted, with no explanation or seeming cause.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for sharing your harrowing experience when your new baby was born.
    Surely, our Lord protected you and your family.

    Dear Rose,
    What a horrendous ordeal you went through, yet what a comparison and application from scripture. Your words: “What seemed catastrophe was actually God’s protection,” touched my soul. It answers so many questions to “Why?” Because He was protecting us. Thank you so much. God is so good, all the time.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for this devotional today. So thankful for our Lord’s loving care being with you during that very threatening situation of hearing gunshots. He certainly is always there for us and guiding through each and every circumstance we face and is ever deserving of our worship and praise. Blessings to you for these heart touching writings you do.

    Good morning, Rose,
    You have lived a very full life and I am glad you are safe and realize how much God takes care of us. Most of the time we forget that Jesus spent his first years in Egypt, but your story helps to make it come alive and will probably stay with me better over the years. Learning to be flexible and accept change is something that has taken me years to be comfortable with. I do find it easier to adjust as I have gotten older. I am not sure why that is, but it definitely makes life simpler. I do remember and cherish nursing my children and that special time and bond. Your story brought that picture back fresh in my mind to enjoy today.
    Thank you for your honest sharing and connecting it to your strong faith. May 2022 be a special year for you and your family.

    How your message resonated with me, especially:
    “What seemed catastrophe was actually God’s protection.”
    If we but have eyes to see, it is truly amazing how He protects and guides for sure! Thanks be to God.

    Good morning, Rose
    Thank you for your devotional.
    Sometimes we wonder why things happen, so often we see God’s hand in retrospect. Thank you for those good words,
    Blessings and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

    Dear Rose,
    Another piece of mosaic to add to your life’s story. It will never cease to amaze me what you have experienced while somehow managing to keep God in your sights. As I read through the devotional, I immediately knew it was you and I just shook my head in disbelief.

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