From the moment our warmth in the womb is disrupted to our last glimpse of this globe, we desire stability. At least, I do. Because life can tumble towards the unexpected.
Most of my days are couched in routine, but unpredictability is in the air. The wonder of the 24-hour cycle can include an undeserved kindness or cruelty. By night fall, things can fall apart around us or fall into place and delight us. Yet, instability eventually finds us.
But we don’t have to stay in the tumble.
Stability is possible. It depends on where we look to find it.
I admit my stability finder has marks from being bent in the wrong direction. Societal trends, misguided goals and even a few accomplishments have each had their turn.
But this year, my Christmas reflection revolves around looking at a stable situation – the Stable situation. The double meaning is completely intentional.
The Nativity takes place in a stable as the Christ child is born in a manger. In contrast, our lives can be fraught with instability. But the insecurities within us, the uncertainty around us or the divisions between us are primed for Christ as our only hope.
Wherever you are in discovering that hope, you’re invited to join me for a 4-part weekly series on the birth of Christ and the stability He offers as we encounter life’s situations.
Luke 1:26-38 (NLT) is a good place for us to start:
“…God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin, Mary, engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Congratulations, favored lady! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to wonderfully bless you! Very soon now, you will become pregnant and have a baby boy, and you are to name him ‘Jesus.’ He shall be very great and shall be called the Son of God. And the Lord God shall give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he shall reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom shall never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of God shall overshadow you; so the baby born to you will be utterly holy—the Son of God. Furthermore, six months ago your Aunt Elizabeth—‘the barren one,’ they called her—became pregnant in her old age! For every promise from God shall surely come true.” Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.” And then the angel disappeared.
Confused and disturbed. Mary’s initial response is understandable. Gabriel’s appearance was an instability-has-arrived kind of moment.
But she soon discovered the significance of Gabriel’s announcement. Through immaculate conception, the promised Messiah would come through her to save the world. By the end of the angelic visit, Mary was willing to do whatever God wanted.
Any impact on her engagement to Joseph, her public persona or her body did not compare to the faithfulness of God. She went from being an unsuspecting teenager to His surrendered servant in 12 verses flat. That may be a record.
When she heard “For every promise from God shall surely come true.” Mary’s faith applauds. It anchored her to God’s call, His power and His promises the moment she agreed.
Our stability lies in having the same certainty — every promise of God shall surely come true. Many days I have to fight for that certainty. What becomes unpredictable, looks inconsistent or seems non-existent may feel like His promises are far away. But nothing could be further from the truth. Through Christ, God came near and each of His promises became yes and Amen.
See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my victory. – Isaiah 12:2 NLT
As we begin this Christmas meditation “Looking at a Stable Situation,” let’s first look to Him in prayer:
Dear God, whatever is unstable in my life, I look to You. I choose to believe You are faithful. Every promise You’ve made shall surely come true. May that truth anchor me to Your plan regardless of what becomes unpredictable, feels inconsistent or seems non-existent. May I be steadied by Your love, in Jesus’ name. Amen.