January 12

January 12, 2021
By: Terry Abel
“We live by faith, not by sight.”  – 2 Corinthians  5:7

Our Christmas tree has needed to come down for a while.  It is dried out and a fire hazard.  However, one of our daughters has really wanted to keep it up, so for the sake of family harmony, we have agreed to keep up the tree until today. It is a day which is coincidentally epiphany, which some people call the little Christmas, because that is when the wise men came to bring gifts to Baby Jesus.  I know some people who, before this pandemic, used to throw parties centered around this little Christmas, so I’m perfectly okay with taking down our tree and the majority of our Christmas decorations today.

Christmas felt different this year.  A couple of my siblings didn’t even put up trees. The camel ornament that has been on our tree for years looked different to me this year.  Having ridden a camel in Israel on a trip with my sister-in-law Kim, I saw first-hand how camels don’t always want to carry the loads they are assigned.  Sometimes they have to be forced to carry the loads (people) but by so doing, they help people who are challenged by walking long distances by showing them parts of the Holy Land that couldn’t be reached by car or bus, like areas that were described in the Bible (like caves certain Bible heroes hid in when being pursued by enemies).  Seeing these places up close really makes certain parts of the Bible come to life. 

Maybe you who are reading this are carrying a load you really don’t want to (like living day to day in this pandemic).  I am confident that you are walking forward in faith in an isolated time. I have a greater appreciation of others because of our time apart. Like those blessed camels who helped make parts of the Bible come alive to me, I hope God can do the same for us in our current circumstances. 

Lord Jesus,
In our isolation from this virus, help us carry our load in peace, having faith that even if we don’t want this load, it is working good in us, perhaps in our physical isolation, helping us appreciate others more.     Amen                                                                                                  

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