Christmas: God’s Provision in Difficult Times

Mary Manger copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

**I first posted these words a few years ago, but I believe they bear repeating. May you be encouraged as you read today. :)**

*****

It has been said there’s nothing new under the sun. Things people dream up, actions carried out, sins committed, heroics undertaken—all have been done before

In all of history, one person faced something no one else would ever experience . . . Mary. She alone was gifted with the privilege and the heartache of being mother to the Son of God. And with unique opportunities to see God’s provision.

Journey to Bethlehem copy

 

What must Mary have thought when she learned God wanted her to give birth to the Messiah? When did the reality of the imminent difficulties of this calling sink into her thoughts, her heart?

Mary endured ridicule and ostracism from people who had watched her grow from infancy to womanhood. Whispers of gossip floated around her. People gave her “the look” as she filled her water jugs at the well—all because she yielded her will to the Lord’s. Isolation would always be her companion.

Two women walking ahead

 

When our pastor taught on the book of Luke chapter one, he mentioned Mary had a strong faith. She had to if she was going to be a piece of God’s plan for salvation. God provided her with courage when she needed it.

He also provided Mary with another who encouraged and ministered to her as she walked a path of shame.

Prints in the sand

 

How amazing for this young lady to discover her older, barren cousin was also expecting! Mary’s time with wise Elizabeth must have heartened her, confirmed her resolve to fulfill God’s mission. Elizabeth’s first words would have been a balm for Mary’s dampened spirit.

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! . . . But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:42-45)

Perhaps Mary returned home ready to live out God’s plan well.

At some point in a believer’s life, God presents a difficult choice. It may arrive on our heart’s doorstep in the form of a calling, or maybe a request to surrender some aspect of ourselves to Him. How will we respond?

WillowTree Creché

 

Will we trust Him in that moment and yield our will to His? Will we remember His faithfulness from times past and believe that He’ll be faithful again?

When the Lord asks us to do something, He also equips us. We seldom experience this before the moment, but always in the moment of our need.

Hands held 1

Striving in our own strength to accomplish for Jesus leaves us worn out; we must have His strength to fulfill what He asks of us.

God provides friends who speak truth when we need to hear it. He offers us assurances in His perfect way, and the Lord encourages through His word.

when-the-lord-asks-copy

 

Where do we look for provision? As our Father provided for Mary in the form of an encourager, He will provide for us, if we let Him. When we yield to His plan, we can be assured God will supply our needs.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, may we look to God to be our perfect Provider.

What about you? Are you in a moment of decision? How have you seen God’s provision in those decision times? Who is your favorite person from the Christmas story?

Click to Tweet: At some point in a believer’s life, God presents a difficult choice.

Today, I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Christmas: God’s Provision in Difficult Times

  1. Love this post, Jeanne. I do find that God is always there when we need Him. And His provision, while it may not be what we imagined it should be, always works out for the best…and that’s not circular thinking, that ‘since God provided, it’s the best’. There have been some really obvious cases, like the fact that if we’d come into a bit of money a few months ago, Barb would have been driving an SUV instead of a Chevy Cobalt…and would have assuredly rolled the SUV in the accident she was in two days ago.

    Favourite Christmas dudes are definitely the Three Wiseguys, slipping out the back door when they realized Herod was up to nothing good.

    Like

    • Andrew, I love the truth that you shared. God is always there when we need Him. And He does provide. However, it often doesn’t look the way we expect/want it to. But, it always works out for the best. When we can embrace that truth, we can find peace.

      I’m so, so glad Barb is okay!

      Somehow, I suspected you were going to say the wise men. 🙂

      Like

  2. Amen. God provides what we need just when we need it. The question is are we going to trust him to do what he has promised to do? I need to hear these words today. I imagine you posted them as a reminder to yourself but know that your words resonate with me. I love spending time here each week. Blessings!

    Like

    • Yes, Mary. That is the question. Will we trust him to do what He promised? It’s only when we do that we can know peace with how He provides, how He fulfills His promises. And yes, in the middle of my crazy, I needed the reminder that God provides everything I need. When I need it. And boy, do I need His provision. 🙂

      So thankful for you, friend!

      Like

  3. Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Jeanne, that God will always supply our needs. Not before the moment, but in the moment. I need to remember that more often. I am always awed by Mary’s humble faith, even knowing how she would be ridiculed and ostracized. God gave her His grace in such a powerful way. Love and hugs!

    Like

  4. I’ve had those moments of God-given strength and it always amazes me. Not only about how exactly am I given what’s needed, but also in wonder as to why I worried and tried to do any of it on my own. Great reminder here about the depth of Mary’s faith and how we too can call upon this kind of faithful provision. Thanks Jeanne!

    Like

    • Jill, I’ve had those moments too. And when God shows up beyond what I needed/hoped for, it deepens my gratitude for Him, you know? May we both grow in having a Mary kind of faith. Have a wonderful Christmas!

      Like

  5. Glad I came to visit your site, Jeanne, as you’re also writing about Elizabeth. How wonderful that God provided Mary with encouragement through Elizabeth. I’m sure they found so much to talk about and hearten each other. Where are you in Colorado? I spend my time between Breckenridge and the east coast.

    Like

    • Rachel, I loved reading your post on Tuesday and discovering we had some common thoughts. 🙂 It’s fun when God does that. I can imagine the bond that deepened between Mary and Elizabeth. I imagine they did find much to talk about. 🙂

      We live in the Springs area. How fun to learn you spend some time in Colorado! Have a wonderful Christmas!

      Like

  6. Yes, Mary’s yes and surrender led of course, to a living hope, but I hadn’t looked at as God providing her Elizabeth on that path He gave her. That brings me hope too. I feel like God placed me on a path of correction years ago and I’ve obeyed–to a point Many times I haven’t praised Him on this path! I now am taking steps on two decisions that I know I cannot do without Him….

    Like

    • Lynn, it’s when we accept the path of correction that we can find hope, don’t you think? When we can see that God is good, and that His plans for us are good, we can find hope. I’m still learning to praise Him as I walk my path too. I’m praying for you today as you take steps on those two decisions.

      So thankful for the encouragement that you are. Have a wonderful Christmas!

      Like

Comments are closed.