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Yes, Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, and New Year’s celebrations bring excitement the world around. However, those two holidays combined sometimes hold more emotional upheaval than some can bear. Emotions flood their lives with sorrow and heaviness, filling their hearts with hopelessness for the coming year.
For those individuals less than jubilant about 2020, I hope to encourage you with a few verses from the book of John. “Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples), he left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But he needed to go through Samaria.” (John 4:1-4).
Did you get the last verse, verse 4? Jesus “needed” to go through Samaria. It wasn’t necessarily that he wanted to through Samaria. He needed to.
I read that and wondered to myself, Why would the Bible put that information in there – that he “needed” to go through Samaria? It could have just said that he went to Galilee without ever mentioning the controversial country.
Most Jews of Jesus’ day hated the Samaritans and would go miles out of their way to not go through their country. They didn’t want to have anything to do with the Samaritan people, but not Jesus. He needed to go through Samaria, I believe, because he needed to meet someone who needed him.
Read the history for yourself in John 4 and see. Jesus brought living eater to an entire people through one person who wasn’t even looking for living water. The woman at the well was changed forever because Jesus needed to go through Samaria, and he needed to get to, well, her.
How should that encourage you, my friend? Think about it. If God is that planned, that orchestrated in his actions, that caring about someone whom no one else deemed worthy of time, that loving and patient with one who did not understand his motives, that direct with the truth, that determined to reach the one who had been cast aside, don’t you think that he has orchestrated your life in such a way as to get to, well, you?
Beloved, God has not ignored your cries. He has not failed to meet your needs, nor pretended that they don’t exist. He has not abandoned you, nor left you. He is right now, at the beginning of 2020, in the process of orchestrating your life to bring you living water, everlasting, hope, sweet hope. He is meeting you where you are, in this moment, at this time. He means to and needs to reach you, because he knows you need for him too.
Won’t you believe him in this today? Won’t you believe that he is near you and with you, even now, in your struggles, desiring to hold you and walk with you on this journey?
Prayer: Father, I pray for the person reading this right now, the one who needs you to meet him or her. I pray that you will make yourself so evident in his/her life that no one and nothing can take that evidence away. I pray that you will provide and prove your presence and multiply your great love to them in ways seen and unseen. Thank you, Father, for answering this prayer. I love you, Lord.”
Steven and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and email@example.com.