Realigned Focus

Good day friends!

As you will learn from today’s devotion, I have been reflecting on all those things in my life which I give my time and attention, or lack of. One such activity is my CoffeeTime with you. I love our time together, and wish to continue. But, starting now, I will be posting only once a month. It is my intention that this change will provide me with the much needed time to attend more attentively to my growing family, my church family, and other writing and speaking opportunities to extend Christian encouragement. I truly hope you will continue to join me for CoffeeTime with Brenda Ryan on the first Monday of each month.

If you are looking for more regular daily/weekly devotions, please check out Lutheran Hour Ministries’ free daily devotions at https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?

Finally, please know that I am only a comment or email away if there is ever anything you wish to share.

God’s blessings to you this Advent and Christmas Season!

In His love and mine,

Brenda Ryan

Photo by Steve Hruza on Unsplash

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Have you ever been faced with the pain of having something you’ve put your hope in, worked towards, and dreamed of for a long time be squashed and stepped on, never to become a reality. It literally saps the energy and excitement out of you. You feel drained. You feel betrayed. You feel like an idiot.

Well, I have recently endured such internal turmoil and grief – emotional, physical, and psychological. I was informed that I was not the successful candidate for a position that I have been working towards for well over seven years. Despite my acceptance and understanding of the outcome, I still experienced the grievous feelings and emotions that the death of such a longing would have on anyone. I was not immune to any of it.

However, in the midst of working through these raging and swirling emotions, I was continually brought back to the reality that no matter what, God was in charge, and he was working through it all. Besides myself, I knew that an army of others were praying for God’s guidance through the whole process: for the management team interviewing, for peace and clarity for me while being interviewed, for all interviewees and God’s guidance to provide for all of us no matter the outcome, and that the best person for the position be hired for the good of the organization. Yes, I knew God was true to answering each and every one of those prayers. So it kept me returning to him on my knees praying, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Lord, I trust you. Help my distrust.” 

So, this most holy season of Advent has become a time of deep personal reflection. A time to ponder what truly is important. To refocus my priorities to align better with God’s will for my life. To be content with what I know he has given me: my family, my friends, my home, my current work, my church- and to focus my attention on those things that are worthwhile. And right now, those things that can be anticipated with sure and certain hope – the love of God in the form of a little baby. 

Yes, no matter what this world may hold for us, that little baby Jesus will come to us in the midst of the turmoil, the pain, and the grief. He doesn’t shy away from it. He doesn’t ignore our pain or try to avoid us because of the discomfort of our situations. Oh no, he comes in the thick of it all. He comes to be born in order to walk with us through the pain, to heal our sick hearts, to calm our racing minds, and to cleanse us from all those known and unknown sins and desires that keep us living contrary to his will.

So this December, no matter what you are living through- anxiety, grief, pain, or loss of any kind- focus your thoughts and attention on the Christ child and find your assurance, comfort, peace and joy in him. For he himself says to each of us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 14:27, 16:33b)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for coming as a little baby to bring me peace. Thank you for being my Lord and Saviour. Forgive me, cleanse me, and help me to walk according to your will for my life. In your name alone I pray. AMEN!

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