Believe

Macy’s got it right. Their Christmas slogan is “Believe”. I’m not sure what marketing agency came up with that idea or that it is meant to mean anything more than a warm, fuzzy feeling that makes us want to shop at Macy’s. But they got it right; Christmas is all about believing.

Part of what makes the Christmas story so amazing is the childlike belief of the people who were privileged to be in that story. Mary believed that God would handle the details; she didn’t manipulate to make Joseph think the baby was his or demand that he marry her to protect her reputation. Joseph believed his dream and took Mary as his wife immediately. He believed a second dream and got Mary and Jesus out of Nazareth before Herod’s men came to massacre the baby boys. The shepherds believed the angels’ story and got to see the Christ child for themselves. The Wise Men believed the prophecies and went to find the new king. They believed their dream and avoided Herod on their return trip home. Anna and Simeon believed that God would answer their prayer for a messiah. They remained in the Temple until they held that answered prayer in their arms and hearts. The belief of each of these allowed them to see God made flesh and become a part of his story.

What do you believe? If you were to list the things you believe about God, what would they be? Do you believe enough to trust God with details and circumstances of your life? Even when those details are what you want or don’t make sense? Mary probably wanted a sweet Jewish wedding and life with a kind carpenter. Joseph probably wanted nothing more than to have a family and support it through the business in his carpenter shop. It is easy to trust God when we are getting what we want and the flow of life is according to our plan. But the problem comes when things do not work out according to our agenda. Oddly enough, it is most often those moments when God is in a position to give us exactly what we need for what is to come.

Let the simplicity of a childlike faith allow you to believe that God can rise up and be God right here in the middle of your life in this world. Believe that his plan is higher and better than anything on your list, and count on the fact that he still comes into our world and brings about your good for his glory….no matter what your current circumstances look like. Believe that God is who he says he is, and believe that he loves you more than you could ever ask or imagine. When your belief overshadows your fear, you will find yourself in the middle of God’s story.

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