Tender Mercy and Morning Light


Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from Heaven is about to break upon us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. – Luke 1:78-79

Precious words of praise that poured out of Zechariah’s mouth when the Lord answered his and his wife’s long running prayer for a child.

They had grown old, and a baby wasn’t realistically in their prayers anymore. They had run silent. Zechariah and Elizabeth had marked that prayer off as impossible. So, imagine their initial shock that they must have felt when God granted them the gift of a child! The complete awe, the sheer joy! All Zechariah could do was sing praises to our God because he had just witnessed Him do the impossible in their lives.

And yet how many times do we find ourselves in similar positions to Elizabeth and Zechariah? We pray so earnestly and so faithfully for something in our lives, yet as time creeps on we lean more towards thinking the task is impossible.

How quickly we let ourselves fall to focus on what is in front of us, rather than Who is in charge.

Christmas is one of the most beautiful times of year. There’s this idea in the air of peace and glimmering hopes and silent nights. And for some, this season is just that. A time of anticipation and wonder and joy. For others, they may linger between seasons and find this time of year to be anything but still and peaceful and glimmering. But that’s okay, because that doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work.

Though all around us may be chaos and we may struggle to hear God’s voice over the volume of the voices of the world – He is there. He is moving in the silence of the darkest nights, working to redeem that glimmer of hope to your prayers. The impossible prayers.

For me personally, I let the impossibles in my life have way too much control. I see a dilemma in a friend’s life and I want to be the one to fix it. I want to fix the things that go wrong in my own life. I chase after the things I want so desperately with my heart unguarded and my mind determined.

And I am all too quick to jump into these things. A lot of times forgetting how important it is to take the time to stop, be still, and pray about it. Because when I set out to fix the impossible on my own, I’m overlooking the most important part. I am not capable of doing these things on my own. To me they are impossible. But we serve a God who knows no limits.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible. – Matthew 19:26

I let the hurt of the impossible weigh heavy on my heart. I let it consume me, and I find myself just like Zechariah and Elizabeth found themselves – sitting in the darkness, staring into the face of the impossible that holds such a grasp on my heart. And that doubt of ours can be controlling. It can be scary, trust me, I understand. But when we let that doubt consume us, we’re living with the absence of hope. And living without hope isn’t really living at all. Our hope is Who we’re holding fast to, and in Him we find the light that diminishes all the darkness we have been facing.

No matter the intensity of the darkness that may be looming over you, or no matter the sting of the hurt you may have experienced – know that our God is a God full of tender mercy. And the morning light from Heaven itself is about to break upon you to guide you to the path of peace.

Let the anticipation and wonder of the Christmas season fill you up entirely this year. Rest in knowing His timing is so much greater, and in knowing that only He can do the impossible. Not only is He capable of doing so, but He promises to do so. Await that beautiful, glimmering morning light from Heaven.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen! – Ephesians 3:20-21

Reflection

1. What prayers have you let go silent or labeled as impossible?

2. What are you looking towards: the “what” that is in front of you, or Who is in front of you?

Prayer

God, we thank You for the beauty that there is in this Christmas season. We thank You for the hope, for the joy, and for the anticipation of what is to come. Let that be a reminder to us both this month and from here on out. You are in the business of doing the impossible – let that not be lost on us today. Thank You for Your tender mercy and for guiding us to the path of peace. You are so constant in our lives and we love You for it. Amen.

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