Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Cleanse Me"1 (Lyrics)
Leading up to and during the Christmas season, we read how the angel of the Lord told Zacharias that he and Elizabeth were to have a child who would be the forerunner of the coming Messiah, how the angel told Mary that she would be the mother of God's Son, and how the angel told the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem where they would find the newborn Son of God. In each instance, the Bible tells us that they were afraid and that the angel told them, "Do not be afraid." (Luke 1:13; 1:30; 2:10, NKJV)
During most of December and on into January, my wife and I have been in isolation and mostly hibernating, not because we had to, but rather because we felt that we needed to. On January 17th, I am facing a serious operation to remove a kidney with a slow-growing tumour. Around Christmastime, some of our children, their spouses, their children, and little grandchildren had colds, and the Omicron variant was rampant in our area. We were afraid to mingle with people for fear of jeopardizing my operation date, an operation which must take place.
So, the two of us spent our time together every day, and for several days before and after Christmas, we listened to various YouTube services and a lot of wonderful Christmas music. This made us very aware that we are so blessed with the technology and the people who make these programs and services in different places and languages. The words of some of the carols and hymns, the words of some of the speakers, the expressions of faith by some of the singers, and the inspiring music made us aware that even though we were not around people, we are never alone. Then, I remembered the following verse:
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (NKJV)
There are times in the lives of all of us when we just don't know how to carry on. Sometimes, we are too weak to reach out our hand. Sometimes, we are paralyzed by fear, anxiety, or loneliness. Sometimes, our lives are threatened by illness. Sometimes, we are shattered by death.
In spite of all the problems that we might be facing, through all of the loneliness that we might be experiencing, we are assured that God is with us. He will uphold us and support us and give us the peace that we need in our hearts. He will help us indeed.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we are worried, times when we fear what is happening to us and what might be ahead of us. We thank You for the assurance that Jesus is always with us to hold our hand and support us. This we pray in His name. Amen.