Conceived

Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” 

This Christmas season has been different. Our year old cats have broken ornaments after climbing our Christmas tree. They pulled off red ribbon that I had wrapped around the tree so I had to strip the tree of all of its ribbons which circled from the bottom to the top. Apparently, the cats had a party while we slept and jumped on the tree so much that when we awoke on a Saturday morning, we found ornaments strewn on the floor.

I feel like I’ve always known that the true meaning of Christmas is not in a Christmas tree, but I have enjoyed placing special ornaments on the tree. I knew that it would be unwise to decorate the tree this year with anything of sentimental value because there was a pretty good chance that the tree would experience drama from the cats. Sure enough, I was right.

After stripping the red ribbon from the tree and rolling it up, I began thinking about how Jesus had to strip away His will and follow His Father’s perfect plan to come to Earth. His mission was clear: save the world from sin. He had to come and be a part of humanity, cry as a baby, be held by Mary, taught carpentry by his earthly father, Joseph, then go about his heavenly father’s business. His willingness to come required careful planning from God. The Holy Spirit of God orchestrated the entrance of the Jesus into the world.

The Savior of the world came into the world as a human baby after He had been conceived or created in Mary’s womb. I read the words that an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream and accept, by faith, that God who knows all things knew how to place Jesus into Mary’s body. The angel shared words that echo throughout history: “that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”. The miracle of Jesus being created in Mary’s body is incredible and it teaches me principles of how God carries out His perfect plans.

  1. He thinks though details but doesn’t always share the specifics.
  2. His Holy Spirit will accomplish His perfect plan.
  3. Whatever needs to be created will happen by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  4. By faith, we must accept God’s plans and trust Him with the outcome.

The power of the Holy Spirit accomplished the will of the Father. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to the Earth with the purpose of saving the world. I know that God provided Jesus in the body of Mary and that he had to have a human birth to become Emmanuel, God With Us. I am grateful that Jesus humbled himself to leave His heavenly home to do what only He could do.

My plan to have a tree decorated with all that made me happy had to change this year. I have come to realize that my plans must be in submission to my father in heaven. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to conceive in me the ideas that I need to function and succeed in my life. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit continues to bring about needed changes in my life and keeps me in tune with the perfect will of God. The word of God, prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit create an environment that helps me focus on the truth and on Jesus who has saved me from my sins.

Thankfully, I will ask him to conceive in my heart the plans that he has for me and for my family. I want to be ready to receive whatever He conceives in me. His Word tells us that God has prepared “things” for those who love him that we haven’t ever seen, heard or conceived. I can count on the Holy Spirit of God to do the work in my heart and in my circumstances to bring about His will in me.

1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him– “

No Rock Like Our God

1Samuel 2:2 ESV

There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; for there is no rock like our God.

While weeding my flower garden, I unearthed a boulder rock. Well, not quite as big as a boulder but in the context of my garden space, it seemed to be like no other that I had ever seen in my yard.

I am really not great at gardening but like to plant flowers in the front and back gardens in my yard. After finding a hydrangea bush at a local store with deep purple and lavender blooms, I knew that it would be perfect in a specific garden spot in my yard and have room to get bigger. So, I grabbed a shovel and dug a significant hole in which it would sit. Normally, I would not have to dig so deep to plant vinca and other flowers in this garden space so digging deep in the ground with a shovel, not just a hand trowel, was new for me.

I could tell I had hit a rock because of the loud ding that the shovel made. It surprised me to realize that this rock had been under my yard for years, right under other plants which had grown above it during other years. But sure enough, there it was. I knew that the rock needed to be removed to allow space for the hydrangea so I found the edges of it and slid the shovel under it. I gave it my best effort and lifted the massive rock out of the earth.

I had to use the shovel to hoist the rock up and to the surface as it lay hidden in my flower bed. I placed it along the edge of the garden and noticed that it is unlike any of the other small rock pieces which I had also found while weeding.

Just like there in the garden where I least expected to find a rock, a massive 12 inch wide and two-three inch deep rock, I know that I will notice God in places where I least expect. I had started digging after hearing some troubling news at my doctor. Jabbing my shovel into the ground distracted me as I processed the doctor’s words. “There’s no way to know what this mass is in your foot unless an MRI is done.”

“What could happen?”, I thought.

“Don’t be anxious”, I replied back to my own mind.

Two dear teacher friends comforted me the next morning and one of them prayed for me. I sensed that God was moving in closer to me as we drew close to Him. Others are praying too for me for which I am grateful. The friends and family who pray for you in a crisis are the ones which God uses to remind you of His faithfulness. One of my friends sent me these comforting words which are a Scripture that she loves in Jeremiah 29:11:

He has the master plan because He is holy. He knows that I need hope and a future.

He is a Rock like no other. I had never faced an issue like this one but knew God would show up, just like that rock appeared out of no where in my garden. I have trusted God to heal and renew my foot.

Sweat rolled into my eyes stinging them with salt while I dug with my shovel on that humid, almost summer day in mid June.  I lifted the hydrangea out of its box then into the circular hole in the garden. It finally had a home. Bright pink and purple flowers stand around the hydrangea as if they are its protective barrier. Now, when I water my plants each day and see their growth, I see the rock in the corner of my garden to remind me that God is my Rock. He is with me and provides a constant peace that passes my limited understanding.

He allows my circumstances and knows what will happen. I had several appointments with a few foot doctors after the MRI was done. As I waited to hear their assessment, I trusted in my God knowing He is my Rock. Jesus was broken so that I could experience wholeness. I prayed for healing for my body.

I am thrilled to report that there is nothing in my foot that needs any treatment or surgery. There is a mass near a tendon but these types of masses just sometimes happen. The mass could go away but there is no cause for concern!

He helped and comforted me in the waiting. God is my Rock. I am grateful for this great news! As I waited to hear from each doctor, God lead me to walk closer to Him and feel His presence near. I hope you will join me in thanking God and praising Him for this news. He kept me calm through the waiting. There is no rock like our God!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!