I started reading an advent devotional to prepare my heart for Christmas this year. I’ve actually never read a devotional before. Crazy? huh? I prefer just reading the Bible but this year I wanted to try something different. I hope this blesses you like it blessed me.
Do you know the story of Ruth? Ruth was the daughter-in-law to Naomi. After Naomi lost her husband and her sons. Ruth sworn her loyalty to her mother-in-law and they returned from Moab to the tiny town of Bethlehem, their hometown. Did you know that Bethlehem means “House of Bread?” Bethlehem is also the place where Jesus was born.
“Jesus – our Great Provision – was born in a house of provision. He is to us what the manna in the wilderness was to the Israelites. Think of it – He is our Bread from Heaven, the Daily Bread we are told to hunger solely after. And by eating of His body, by consuming His provision, we not only find satisfaction for today, but we have life eternal!
He is enough. And that is the point.”
Now, back to Naomi…”Though Naomi is now bitter and empty, she reports that when she first left Bethlehem, she “went away full.” And their return to their home town has them there just in time for the barley harvest. Appropriately, she came hungry to the House of Bread.”
Isn’t that what it’s all about? We are to come hungry to Jesus and HE alone is our bread. He will give us the manna for today. He is all we need.
After reading that I started thinking about Christmas and one Christmas stands out above the rest.
Mark and I were in our early 20s with a mortgage payment and 2 little girls. We loved our little family, but times were tough. Mark and I both worked hard, but we didn’t make much money. We also made a few stupid financial decision. When it came time each week to pay our bills, there was never enough money. Each week, we’d get further and further behind and then add Christmas to the mix, things looked hopeless. We kept our problems to ourselves, because we needed to figure out what to do. I put some things for Taylor and Tori on layaway, but as the days drew closer to Christmas we realized we couldn’t afford to get them out. I was at a loss. I begged the Lord for a way out. I won’t go into all the details because there was so much that happened, but that Christmas we saw the hand of God move. He showed us that He is our manna. Several members of our family got together and blessed us with groceries, money, and my mom even got the girls’ gifts out of layaway. I’ll never forget that friend who showed up at our door and handed us a plate of cookies. It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed the $50 taped to the bottom. I saw people being used by God.People that didn’t even know what was going on in our lives. They just listened to the Lord and were obedient. Our needs were met that Christmas and actually that gave us the shove we needed. We ended up getting on a budget and paying off our bills. Not long after that, I was able to become a stay at home mom.
I asked the Lord to never let me forget that Christmas. I want to always remember where I was and where He met me. I was hungry spiritually, He opened my eyes to His goodness and filled me up. It is my favorite Christmas memory!
I’m not sure where you are this Christmas. Your marriage may be falling apart, you may be a single mom that can’t afford Christmas, you may have a prodigal child…I don’t know but I do know that the Lord wants us to come to Him empty, hungry, so he can be our bread of life. Go to Him expectant that you will walk away full. Let the Word of God and the Bread of Life be your daily manna.
May you have a truly blessed Christmas season!
The devotion I’m reading can be found at http://shereadstruth.com/