The 10-day count down is here. May we be ready for all God is sending our way. Being committed to God’s plan is generally an invitation into the frying pan. After Mary’s encounter with the angel she was surrendered and determined, but that did not make her immune to the onslaught of gossip, ridicule and heartache. Mary needed a safe place. She needed an oasis, a place of solace, comfort and encouragement on this mountainous trek she now found herself on as a tender, teenage girl.
We read in Luke 1: 39-40, “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah, where she entered Zachariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.” We know where Mary went, but we don’t know exactly when. Was it immediately after the angel’s appearance?
Was it after she told her parents?
Was if before or after Joseph was told?
Was it when her swollen belly could be hidden no more?
We don’t need to know when, but thinking through the tough realities Mary faced helps paint a picture of life with God. It reminds us that God provides. He provided a place for Mary on her “desert trek.” God will provide for me as well. David, the author of many Psalms knew the provision of God. He, too, found it in oasis.
“’Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest – I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.’” Psalm 55: 6-8
Where do you go when you need a place of refuge. Is it the comfort of a favorite chair? A city park? A coffee shop? Driving the open road? No matter what, our oasis needs to point us to God. It needs to redirect our heart. Oasis is not about escape or entertainment, it’s about positioning ourselves to enter into the Presence of God. Once there, God reminds us of his sovereignty. He refreshes and restores. Have you slipped away to your oasis recently? What’s keeping you? Demands press hard, but so does our need for oasis. Who knows, an oasis might be one of the many gifts God has waiting for us this Christmas.
I have a gift for you. It’s a story that speaks of 3 treasures. I wrote it for the online version of Today’s Christian Woman in December 2011. May we have a “Christmas to Remember.”
4 thoughts on “Oasis”
That is what Christmas is all about….arms to hold and to be held by. I read about a young boy…mentally ill..hears voices…has cut himself and tried to kill himself. He’s been hospitalized 20 times and is only 14. My thought was why won’t they just let us die? When The Holy Spirit came and asked me how much Jesus was in me. A lot I answered. I love Him so much. I was then asked how much Jesus would leave the world if I died? Perspective. I was reading in Matthew about John in prison. He sent his disciples to find out if Jesus was The One. Jesus pointed to his miracles. That didn’t help John. He was still in prison. But Jesus said bless are those who don’t become offended in me. I thought of the people healed and theses who are not. Blessed are those who don’t get offended because life is hard… someone else was healed, but not me… my family member died and they are still alive and happy and whole and I’m broken and bleeding and no one cares. Blessed are we when we don’t become offended because God touches one and not another. Look at the miracles that are taking place all over the country because one very sick boy has Jesus and wants to give diamonds to remind people of him. Would he have made the differences if he were not struggling through life? Poor Joe. But you were brought to a hospital to cry with a woman who needed arms and shared understanding. A child in a prickly manger, in a smelly stable, born to give us Life. He tasted pain and his compassion is shown to us daily. In the gift of our pain, we too are allowed to give Jesus.
You bless me. You bless many on this journey.
I was stopped by our local librarian. Karen looks for your notes, Betty.
God uses your words, your pain, your hope, your journey to give her courage to walk her own.
“In the gift of our pain, we too, are allowed to give Jesus.”
Thank you. God blesses in different ways at different times. But there are days, Brenda, when it is just too much. I would love to get away…go somewhere quiet and hear God, but there is no getting away from the screams of guilt and shame. Sometimes a friend will email just what I need, or God will speak through His Word, or He places his hand on my shoulder and allows me rest. Sometimes nothing is there except the pain. He is trying to teach me to accept and receive the pain as a gift. Gift? Really? It is in the pain that I hold on to what He gave me when the sun shined and the gentle breeze blew. It’s in the pain that I learn to trust God in me. I’m learning to trust me. Amazing! Maybe I’m not used up and wasted and worthless. Maybe I am. But God loves me anyway. I pray for you. Especially over the holidays. Brenda, I cried for you in joy and sorrow because I know you felt both. Happy peace filled New Years. Thank you for encouraging me. I’m beaten up right now.
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
A child was born. He was so sick and it was scary. To look at him, you would think he was a normal child. He was so cute. His parents didn’t want him or couldn’t care for him. No matter. This child was formed…in just the manner he was formed…at the time he was formed….for the purposes of God. No chance at life. The medical costs would be astronomical. Who could bear the weight? Who could love that much? Enough to give everything they had for his care. Who could love enough…love right….to fight for this child through trips to the hospital and frightening diagnosis’s? Who would give everything for this child? Would he live to see 5 or 9? Could he grow to be a man? That would be asking a lot. Yet at the age of 19, this babe has grown and loved and fought through the wars called life. But it wasn’t because he was a fighter. It was because he was loved. He was chosen. God said “it’s time for Josh to live” and this child in all his perfectness, with all his struggles, was born. The Jank family came and met this bundle of love and God said “it’s time”. These people were offered a fragile gift of love. They were tested and tried. They fought, and steel was formed in their bones. Chosen. First by God….then by the Jank family. You were first. You were the test. They have been proven true. God knew they would be. Josh didn’t just happen. He wasn’t a result of a relationship between a man and a woman….he was a gift…brought to being at the right time, for the season of life that is his, for the purpose and plan God intended. Josh. A celebration of God.