But before I go on, the winner is of the give-away this time is - Gina!
I've known Gina for a long time and am excited to give her this copy of Compass. She is a woman of God and I know she'll love using it! On an unrelated note, she and I share a passion for solid organ transplant and the gift of life that Organ Donation results in. It's one of the things I love about Gina!
And thank you to those of you who shared your thoughts on which Christmas character you can most relate to, this year. I enjoyed reading your responses, so much that I am sharing a few of them here. You've provided me with points to ponder, and am encouraged and challenged with what you've all said. Here are a few:
Karen said, "I think I would associate with the shepherds the most -- being afraid of the great host of angels, but wanting to go see what it was all about. I can't imagine their astonishment and wonder as they looked at the King born in a feeding trough. It just amazes me how God used such 'normal' people to carry His Son and to see Him for the first time. Reminds me that God can use me, too."
Brenda shared, "I think I most identify with Zechariah. An angel shows up to tell him his prayers are answered and he doubts! Doubts that God can do a miracle in he and his wife and sometimes I go through the motions, really wondering if I believe God does answer my prayers, also. Zechariah paid a price for his doubting - but oh, how sweet the redemption at the end of his journey. He experiences God in such a real and personal way and then he gets to be the father of John the Baptist. WOW!"
Fran commented on the last post, but I am so touched by her words, that I thought I'd share them here. She said, "While I would love to identify with all the characters in the Christmas story, like the Wise men who showed up to lavish Jesus with gifts or with Mary who willingly bowed to unexplainable circumstances with amazing trust and faith, even at the cost of her reputation, I think I would hope to identify with the Shepherds who probably were often ignored in their seemingly menial, unseen work, yet were chose by God to be the first ones to be told Jesus had come to earth. I love how the shepherds did not hesitate to run and find Him and to tell Mary what the angel said about her Son."
Thank you, ladies for sharing! Yes, God uses normal people, doubting people, even those who are often ignored in their seemingly menial, unseen work. This truth truly resonates in my heart today, as I (perhaps) like you, face the ups and downs of life, questioning how God is at work and how He uses me.
Keep on thinking and reflecting this Christmas, and above all, keep your eyes fixed on the One who came for you. He loves you dearly!