All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]
The last few Christmases have been rather non-traditional for me. Yet through it all, God has never left me. Instead, He and He alone has carried me through some very unexpected and challenging times and has given me unexpected joy in the midst of my struggles.
In 2018, my family woke up Christmas morning at St. Jude’s in the ICU. My daughter was 2 years old at the time. She had spent the last 48-72 hours on a ventilator following a 6-hour brain surgery. Four weeks earlier, my wife and I were expecting our second child, we thought our 2-year-old daughter was as healthy as could be, and we were planning our normal Christmas routine. Over the next four weeks, we had a miscarriage, we found out our daughter had a terminal brainstem tumor, and we woke up in the ICU on Christmas with her. This is not the Christmas we had planned just four weeks prior. But that day, I received the greatest gift I could ever imagine. The doctors deemed that my daughter was strong enough for us to hold that morning. And so Christmas morning, my daughter was able to get out of bed for the first time in 3 days, and I got to hold her in my arms. And a few days later, the doctors aligned their prognosis with God’s and told me that my daughter’s diagnosis was not terminal.
In 2019, I had pneumonia and was bedridden for all of our Christmas festivities. I was unable to enjoy most of our traditions. Again, my plans did not go the way I wanted. However, God showed me how blessed I truly was. I was able to wake up in my own home and not the ICU. My daughter got to run around and enjoy time with both sets of grandparents and all of her cousins. Even though I was sick, I could see how far God carried my family.
This year, once again, Christmas is not what I imagined. Again, most of my plans did not come into fruition. Like most of you, I am unable to gather with family due to the pandemic. On top of that, my uncle, my dad’s older brother died this week from COVID-19. I do not know what unexpected perspective God is going to give me from this situation, but I do know He is with me.
Daily Battle Order:
Today, we celebrate Christmas. The day God sent His Son to walk among us, to show us what love is and to give us the greatest gifts, his example and our salvation. That way, all of us may be restored into a relationship with Him and can have eternal life. God is always with us and because Jesus took on human form and all of our sins, Jesus understands our hardships and struggles. As a result, we worship a God who is both always with us and can always identify with our situations, both good and bad.
**The Joshua Commission appreciates the opportunity to share lessons and testimonies of God’s love through the Daily Battle Orders. 2020 has certainly shed light on many facets of our culture, community and each of us individually. In 2021 TJC is taking a much more PROACTIVE position disciplining Kingdom Men to prevail through increasing challenges. As a Not-For-Profit Para-Church we rely on your donations to improve our operations and expand the Kingdoms influence. Please take the time to go on our website (joshuacommission.org) and subscribe, and donate if these DBO’s are of value to you. We aren’t asking you to partner with us, we are saying you are needed to lock shields with your brothers in the battles to come.**[/expander_maker]