December 18 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: Yes, Father! Yes! And always Yes! - Francis de Sales

Scripture Reading for the Day: Matthew 1:18-24

Reading for Reflection: I wonder how long you made Joseph wait in that agonizing tension before you told him your plan. And what was it you were trying to accomplish within him in the midst of his struggling and wrestling? Were you trying to teach him to pray? Were you building his character? Were you testing his faith? Were you trying to see if he would say yes to you regardless of the circumstances or situation? Were you increasing his groaning, because you knew it would make the soil of his soul fertile and receptive to your coming? Was the time of struggle designed to increase the depths of his gratitude once you finally told him the truth? Was it to test his love for Mary, the mother of your Son? Was it to test his love for you? What was that awful, struggle-filled waiting meant to do in him? And what is it meant to do in me? How am I like Joseph, looking at a seemingly no-win situation and having to trust you to somehow show up in the middle of it? And trusting you to help me begin to make sense of it all? Where am I desperately waiting for you to arrive? Come, Lord Jesus!

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Mark and Mary are living in a Creative Access country. Mark is working for a U.S. corporation there as a “Tent Maker.” Mark’s work gives him unparalleled access to the local population. Pray today for Mark, Mary and their children that they would keep their eyes fixed on Jesus and keep their trust in His love and goodness.

Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, is a campus organization that seeks to share the gospel with students through relationships, small group studies and larger events like retreats and mission trips. Pray today for John and Geralyn Strange as Cru reaches students this semester through retreats and small groups.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, help us to trust you even in the midst of our waiting and uncertainty. That through it all we may remain certain of one thing - you! Amen.