Friday, December 15, 2017

What if There's No Star to Follow?

 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
Matthew 2:1-4, 9-10 NKJV

Sometimes, I am jealous of the wise men. They recognized the times they were in, saw the star, and followed it to Jesus. I'm sure their journey wasn't quick and easy, but they knew they were headed in the right direction by following the star. They had a guiding light to reassure them that they were on the right track. 

I wish at times I had that star in the sky guiding me. There are times I want to know exactly where Jesus is, but I can't find Him. I haven't given up on God. I'm still a believer. I just can't seem to find Jesus in my situation.

Some people may find that odd. But let me ask you:

  • Have you ever had a child in the hospital?
  • Has your child ever had a surgery?
  • Have you ever watched your child suffer?
  • Has your child's delays in development or chronic health conditions severely limited their life?

If you answered yes, then maybe you have had moments like me. Maybe you too have wondered where Jesus was. Maybe you felt so alone in those hard moments that you couldn't find Jesus. 

A few weeks ago, I sat by my daughter's hospital bed in the Intensive Care Unit. I looked around at the lines, wires, tubes, and miscellaneous equipment needed to help my child during this respiratory illness. This familiar scene had me baffled this time as I became disgusted that my child was sick again, and in the ICU again, and needing support with her breathing again.

In the rush to the ER, I felt panic. 
When they said she would need to go to the ICU, I felt worried.
When her breathing remained labored for 3 days with no positive change, I felt discouraged.
When my son asked me over and over again when his sister would be home, I felt sad.

You see, I felt many things, but I didn't feel Jesus around. Sorry. It's true. I suppose we all want the miracle in these times that are hard. We want to witness a remarkable, quick change in health after a prayer. But, it doesn't always happen the quick and easy way.

I was searching around looking for my "star" to guide me during this time. I wanted to find Jesus in that hospital, but I couldn't find the star to even get my bearings. 

Since coming home, I have done much reflection on that hospital admission. Where did it all go wrong? I just felt spiritually lost the entire time. 

But then I realized another important part of the Christmas story found in Matthew 1: 
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

While I was looking all around to find Jesus, I never looked within myself. I didn't take enough time to pause, breathe, and let the God who rests inside of me minister to my situation. I suppose I was too busy fighting human emotions to think that God was already where I was ready to help in my family's time of trouble. Perhaps, you could say the star I was looking for was right above me the entire time. 

What about you? Do you need reminded of this simple truth?

Let's pray:
God, Thank you for sending Jesus to the Earth, so that he can forever live in the hearts of men. Help us Lord to remember that You are with us in every situation and that You never leave us. Help us to hear your voice more clearly in times that are hard. Help us to have the right focus and take a moment to settle ourselves down to find You when things are chaotic. Amen!


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