Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Dear Secret Friend,

I read your card.

You said that the prayers you have prayed for me are inside the beautiful ornament. You said that you made the same ornament for your own tree. With the same prayers for me inside it.

You said that every year, when you put the ornament on your tree, you will remember to pray for me. But then you also said that you're sure that you won't need a reminder, because praying for me has become a habit.


A habit.

What a wonderful thing to be.

I asked God, "Why?"

"Why would You give me such a good friend?"

"Because I know it's been a long donkey ride."

I heard a guest speaker a couple of weeks ago, at a Christmas luncheon, compare Mary's donkey ride to Bethlehem with the journey we are called to take in our lives.

In Luke, Chapter 1, the 34th verse, after the angel had shared the plans for the Messiah's birth, Mary asks "how?"

Mary was willing to accept all that God had told her about the Savior's birth, but she didn't know "how?"

Most of the time, I'm willing to walk the path God has laid down for me, my donkey ride, but my question is "how?"

It usually seems impossible.

And most of the time it is.

That is why God tells me exactly what the angel Gabriel told Mary so long ago.

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you . . ." (v.35)

It is by His Spirit that I stay on the path he has laid down for me.

It is by His strength that I do what He has asked me to do.

And God knows it's hard.

And He knows my frame, and that I'm dust. (Psalm 103:14)

God knows the path can be lonely and bumpy. And that just about the time I think I see my Bethlehem, I realize it is just a mirage.

And the journey continues.

God knows that the journey causes weariness. That the length, and the bumpiness, and the loneliness cause me to want to get off my donkey and quit. That the uncertainty of where I am going causes me to despair and to lose heart.

I believe, Dear Friend, that is why God sent you to me.

He wants me to stay on my donkey.

He wants me to stay on the journey.

He wants me to know that I am not alone.

He wants me to experience joy regardless of the length of the journey, the bumpiness of the path, or the darkness of the nights.

God knows that it is love that will keep me on my donkey.

Looking back over the last few very hard months, I now know that it was your prayers that helped to keep me on my donkey.

And looking forward, to the rest of the journey, I know that God will bless those same prayers by giving me the strength to stay on it.

Your prayers, that God has promised to answer, will undoubtedly cause me to do much singing and rejoicing while I'm traveling on this journey.

A journey that will end with us both seeing the Baby in the Manger, face to face.

With a heart full of gratitude to you and to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,


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