You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11 NIV
Life is hard sometimes. We don’t always know what lies ahead or why things are the way they are. Christmas brings us a moment to stop, reflect, remember, and celebrate. As we look back at the first Christmas, we realize that the people around Jesus when He was born were all experiencing difficulties.
Mary and Joseph were facing the stigma of a child out of wedlock. They were also far from home and family when Jesus was born. They ended up traveling several times to strange places over the next few years to keep their child safe.
The shepherds lived a simple but hard life. They lived outdoors with their sheep, walking and guiding them thru rough terrain, often sleeping outdoors or in caves and staying awake at night to guard their flock.
The wise men, while likely wealthy, left it all behind to seek out the Messiah. They had a long, difficult journey and had trouble finding Jesus.
Yet all these people rejoiced when they met Jesus. These were the people God chose to meet His son. Seeing Jesus brought them to a new understanding. Their circumstances didn’t matter – Jesus did. We see them going away rejoicing and praising God.
We, too, can find joy when we are with Jesus. He knows and guides our path. Having Him as a companion along the way takes our focus off the chaos around us. We don’t have to force ourselves to be joyful – He causes this reaction in us. Focusing on Jesus doesn’t mean just sitting down each morning to have your devotions– it means communicating with Him and sensing His presence throughout the day. No matter what you are doing…He is with you. He can bring you joy throughout the day and lead you on the path He has for you.
God, help me to remember you are always there. Help me create a relationship with you that brings both guidance and joy as well as the promise of eternal life with you.