God’s gift to mankind is still the greatest ever given…and the greatest our hearts will ever receive.
While our journeys begin and end at different destinations, we know deep in our heart it is the “in-between” time in which we’ve become based on the choices we’ve made along the way. In preparation for Christmas, Christians all over the world prepare their hearts, home for the anticipation in celebrating the “coming” of Christ. Even though we are in the final week of Advent, have you reflected to see your own journey this past year? Have you considered living each day in anticipation for Jesus’ second coming and what really matters? We tend to think Advent is the season in which we prepare for Christmas but it’s also celebrating for the second coming of Christ. In my own heart, I try to serve Him faithfully year-round in anticipation of his second coming, not just the beginning of Advent but every day.
There is no doubt this year has been the most painful year of my life. Regardless of the challenges, it certainly can’t be compared with the journey Mary and Joseph traveled. Amidst all the turmoil around me in this broken world, I kept my focus on my Redeemer. He is the one who held me when I cried endlessly, He is the one who lifted me when I could not find the strength to stand on my own, and He is the one who reminds me to continue on this journey…He knows where I have traveled and where my journey has taken me.
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end. Luke 1:30-33
Can you even imagine a young virgin teenager who was ambushed by the Holy Spirit that she was with child; her finance’ who was at first in disbelief but knew this was God’s plan for their journey after an angel appeared before him in a dream she was with child? Who was traveling with Mary and Joseph when their journey started? A young couple fled their village, families, jobs, and friends to begin an endless journey alone. The challenges they faced, the rough terrain of the mountains, cold nights, and no communication with loved ones to update their journey. Their faith can never be challenged as they were on an incredible journey with no knowledge of the joy and pain ahead in their lives, especially her son, Jesus. When compared to their journey, I sometimes feel shame to think my journey is a painful challenge.
I share these words which remind me that my pain and trials in life are only preparation for what is most important.
What Will Matter
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, sunsets, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
Your grudges, resentments, frustration and jealously will finally disappear.
Your hopes, ambitions, plans and “to do” list will expire.
In the end it will not matter where you came from or where you lived.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character
What will matter are not how many people you knew, but how many feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter are not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident; it’s not a matter of circumstances but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters! (Michael Josephson “Words to Live By”)
Regarding your journey, including this time of preparation, consider the ways He is in your life. Christ prepared the pathway for you; you only need to make the right decisions. Follow Him. He has not changed. Trust in your faith and believe the in-between time is what truly matters. How will you feel this time next year when you reflect your year in 2016? Remember, choose a life that really matters by sharing your hope with others.