I Will Understand It Later
It’s sometime not too long after the Christmas party, after the big celebration.Angels have sung heavenly songs; the wise men have brought their gifts; the proud parents of Jesus have marveled at the miracle that God has wrought through them. But that was Christmas Day.
Today is another day, some time not too long after Christmas. The angels can not be heard singing any longer and the wise men have left and gone back to Persia. The star can no longer be seen shining in the sky. The shepherds are back attending their sheep in the field. Herod is determined to find and kill the Child, and Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are left alone, pondering what to do now.
Can you relate? Does Christmas Day come and go in your life too? Do you always hear the angels singing around you? Can you always see the star shining above you? Do you always have people blessing you with gifts and favor, and praising you for being the wonderful person you are? Probably not. You are more than likely like Joseph and Mary and the Child, finding yourself having to deal with all the unpleasant stuff that life often brings after Christmas–stuff like wicked Herod, darkness, Egypt and even Herod’s wicked son!
Much happens the day after Christmas that raises questions for which there are no easy answers. For example, why does God, who is omnipotent, tell Joseph to run from Herod? Wasn’t He able to protect the Holy Family? Why put the Holy Family through the trouble and hardships of fleeing in the middle of the night and living as refugees in Egypt? Why did He allow Herod to live and innocent children to die? The story raises these questions without making any attempt to answer them.
The truth is, while providing many answers, both the Bible and our experiences force us to live with some degree of ambiguity. And that is what faith is all about. It’s about believing in the goodness, the wisdom, and the power of God, even when you don’t fully understand what is happening or why. It’s about being able to trust God’s heart when you can not see His hands.
Thank God for Christmas, but every day is not Christmas Day. That’s why you need a faith and a relationship with God that is strong enough to deal with whatever day it is and whatever the day brings. A faith that empowers you to rejoice always.
Here is a secret to help you maintain the joy and peace of Christmas in your heart, even when you are experiencing stuff around you that does not make sense to you now. Instead of losing your peace trying to understand what you can’t explain, create a file in your mind and name it the “I Will Understand It Later” file. Put all the things you can’t explain into this file and keep them there until Jesus returns. Until then, keep your focus on what you do understand about God now, and give thanks for all those wonderful things He has revealed to you about Himself and the awesome plan He has for you, both now and for eternity.
When you know God, you can be strong in the Evil Day and rejoice always. Not because every day is Christmas Day, but because God is good, all the time!
Happy New Year!