Some years ago, it was just before Christmas, and I wanted to make a card. I’d been in a dark and desperate place for a long time. I’d lost myself, but some God-sent friends had faithfully stood by me, and really helped me through that hard time, imparting the message of true hope in Jesus. I was so grateful. I was coming out of the darkness into the light and love of Jesus that we were just about to celebrate, and Christmas meant more to me that year than it had ever done before. I wanted to give my friends something to convey my heartfelt thankfulness.
It was late at night and I found a piece of white card which could be folded in half but I didn’t have anything else except the basics: a pair of manicure scissors, some pens and pencils and a glue stick. I looked around wondering what I could use. My eyes alighted on an empty chocolate box sticking up out of the waste paper bin. That was it! Painstakingly I cut out an intricate rose from the top of the box and fixed it on the card. It wasn’t much, but I took time and tried to put as much love into this heart-felt thank you as I possibly could.
Finally, it was done. As I looked at it, completely unexpectedly God spoke to me. He reminded me of where He had brought me from. I’d been a psychiatric patient for a long time and had often felt like I was in the rubbish bin of society, and just as I had plucked the box from the bin and carefully crafted it, He had graciously, tenderly lifted me from that place and so gently poured His love into my heart.
He told me there were many who were still in dark places, alone, unloved and feeling worthless, and it was why He had sent Jesus ... ‘to seek and save the lost’. I was so touched by the deep and penetrating truth He spoke to me that night. My focus had been on putting as much love as I could into the card I was making, but it was miniscule compared to the incredible love, care and tenderness He puts into rescuing and restoring a broken life.
As we approach another Christmas Day, may you be freshly impacted that Jesus was born as a baby in Bethlehem to seek and save you. Whatever your circumstances, whatever situations you are facing, turn your eyes upon Jesus and allow Him to bring new revelation to your heart of the vast scale of the true message of hope we have in Him.
For it is even greater than all our disappointments, failures, problems and conflicts. Jesus came ‘to seek and save the lost’. There is no-one who’s suffered too much or sunk too far. Nothing is impossible for Him … Jesus came ‘to proclaim good news to the poor … bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners … to comfort all who mourn … provide for those who grieve … to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair’ (Isaiah 61:1-3). What a true and wonderful hope we have in Jesus!
Prayer: Lord God, thank You that You sent Jesus to seek and save the lost. In the midst of my circumstances, please would You help me to have such an openness of heart towards You this Christmas, that the message of true hope would become more real to me than ever, and hope would overflow from my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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