December 5, 2017
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
Twelve years ago on Christmas Day, I looked down at my pregnant belly with both sadness and relief. The doctor had told me the day before Thanksgiving my unborn baby girl would die in the womb due to severe chromosomal defects. Yet, there I was, a few miraculous weeks later, still carrying that sign of hope within.
Ever since sitting in that doctor's office, God had truly been my Prince of Peace, filling my life with divine order and calmness. Yes, there were dark days filled with tears and questions and prayers. Some days, I doubted; other days, I was filled with faith. My baby's heart kept beating.
But between Christmas and New Year's Eve, I lost that little 26-week-old baby.
As I lay down on the hospital bed and prepared to deliver the baby, the door opened, bringing what felt like the light of God into the room. The nurse assigned to me was the exact same nurse who'd helped deliver my first child. She knew my name. I couldn't believe out of all the nurses in that huge hospital, the only one who knew me was not only working that night, she was working my room.
In that moment, it was divine assurance that God saw me. He was with me in my pain and sorrow. I wasn't alone, and neither are you.
Today's key verse from Isaiah 9:2 says, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." When we live in the deep darkness of disease or death, lack or oppression, we're not beyond hope. Light always penetrates darkness. Darkness, no matter how deep, doesn't stand a chance against a ray of light.
Later in that same chapter of Scripture, Isaiah 9:6 proclaims the good news that a child would be born, and a son given. He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
God stands ready to be all this to you today, whether you're walking in soft light or deep darkness.
We named our little baby girl Angel Rose, because she was a messenger from God to us, and her life was both beautiful and thorny. I can honestly say my memory of her is sweet because she taught me to trust in God like I never have before. She taught me to be thankful for every breath of life God gives. I experienced God's presence in such a real way when I was pregnant with her. The worship song Blessed Be Your Name became my anthem:
"Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name."
The more I sang and trusted, the more God flooded into my life to give me strength. Living in peace isn't living problem-free. It's living a messy life in the presence of a living God. God can and will provide divine order in your broken world if you invite Him into your deep darkness.
Before Christ came as a baby, we were doomed to eternal darkness. But now we live in the light of salvation through the messianic King. The dark gloom of judgment is past. The bright light of salvation is ours.
Christ's birth doesn't just impact all our tomorrows in eternity. His peace is for us today. He can increase our joy right now - no matter what burden we may carry.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being my Prince of Peace and the Light of the World. I trust You with my life and lift my burdens to You. You reign forever and ever with justice and righteousness. Increase my joy today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 9:3, "You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder." (NIV)
Psalm 29:11, "The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace." (NIV)
It's the people in your life who can make you feel right at home during the holidays. Whether you're with your family or you feel lonely in a new town this season, our new holiday products will help you spend meaningful time with the people God has placed in your life throughout the year. Click here to learn more and shop our holiday products!
We're committed to helping more men and women enter a real relationship with Jesus through Scripture. If Encouragement for Today has helped you meet with Him in a real, relatable way, we pray you'll consider giving to Proverbs 31 Ministries this holiday season. With your donation, we can reach more and more people all over the world! Give here.
Arlene Pellicane shared her testimony about her miscarriage on the television program Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. You can watch the video here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Can you recall a time when the peace of God carried you through a difficult time? Take a moment to thank God, and invite His peace to rule your heart today.
Have you experienced a miscarriage? Ask God to bear any burdens you may be carrying and to heal your heart.
© 2017 by Arlene Pellicane. All rights reserved.