I resonate with the shepherds. God’s manifestation in our lives can be terrifying at times.
Oh, they would have been familiar with the various ways God’s presence is revealed: God spoke in a whisper to Elijah, appeared as a cloud to lead the Israelites, and spoke through a burning bush. God’s use of special effects was not lost on them.
But that’s not what what scared them.
What did it mean for the shepherds that God was speaking to them?
Did they do something wrong? Were they about to be thrust into a purpose outside their comfort zone?
How could they have known that God wanted to use them as witnesses to one of the most significant events in history?
And that it was happening nearby? Right in their own backyard?
God didn’t require fanfare. Just obedience.
“8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12)
They surrendered their fears and sought Jesus.
At times, God has spoken of specific purposes into my life. Like the shepherds, it was terrifying at first. But joy intersected the fear. Because, as it was for the shepherds, Immanuel has arrived. And when we embrace Jesus, we can be liberated from our fears of anything God speaks into our lives.
Because God is with us.
I want to be like the shepherds too! Obedience is so important. I’m in the 45 spot this week.
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
Stephanie, I LOVE this…”God didn’t require fanfare. Just obedience.”
In other words, do the thing, and forget the bling.
#1 at FMF this week.
Andrew, I love your phrase!
Andrew, I preached on this topic on Sunday. Here’s the link:http://orlandhope.org/resources/sermons
Stephanie, I was thinking about the shepherds too. They did overcome their fear and “went with haste”. They were blessed through their obedience. Enjoy this beginning of Advent!
“God didn’t require fanfare. Just obedience.” Thank you, Stephanie. I am so eager to glean more truth from the story of His birth. So, thank you. Blessings upon your Monday. In Christ, Julie
Thank you Julie!
“Joy intersected the fear.” God knows we are scaredy-cats who need to be reassured constantly! Praise Him that He intersects our fear, just as He did with the Red Sea or the Jordan River, and He leads us with His calming voice. I’m in the #68 spot. Blessings to you!
Jeanne Takenaka says
Stephanie, what a beautiful post! I never thought a lot about the shepherds in the Christmas story. You brought them to life for me. I loved what you said here: “They surrendered their fears and sought Jesus.” That’s what we all need to do, yes? Like you, I’m so thankful that we don’t have to stay in a place of fear, especially when God calls us to something scary and unfamiliar. Immanuel is with us.
Great post, friend!