Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. Isaiah 43:18-21 (NRSV)
Kenneth Claar lives in Idaho. Many devotions around Christmas urge us to make time in our busy holiday schedules to talk to God, spend time in meditation, and read the Bible.
These are great suggestions, but my problem is that I am not busy. Kenneth is 86 years ole, estranged from his family, has macular degeneration, and lives alone. His Christmases are devoid of joyful activity. he used ton spend the Christmas season remembering the good times spent with family in previous years. But when he dwelled on the past, he ebded up overwhelmed by tears and sadness.
Recently he has learned to turn his thoughts to the present and focus on how much God is blessing him right now. He lives in a nice place, a grocery delivery service has started in his area, he goes to the senior center for lunch a few days a week, and he has time to be with God and time to write.
So instead of pining for the past, he focuses on the present and anticipates the future, knowing that the Christ of Bethlehem is with him and brings blessings day by day. He still misses his family and sometimes weeps over them, but he has learned that we can enjoy the present when we begin to name the blessings God has given us today. It is a never-ending list that can bring us the joy of the Christmas season.
Prayer: Dear God, bring the fullness of your Son's birth to those who are alone, as well as each of us. Let us be grateful for our blessings, in Jesus' name, amen.