The reflection for today’s women’s advent devotional is a familiar story; the actual story but also the idea – the idea of a humble hidden birth of one little boy who grows to be the liberator of his people.
We have Moses – born lowly, raised princely and freed the Israelites. We have Jesus–born lowly, raised humbly and freed the whole human race. “Let my people go!” booms Moses. “Get thee behind me Satan,” commands Jesus. Whoa! Wait. Why are we talking about the enemy in our women’s advent devotional? Shouldn’t this be all candy canes, twinkly lights, and sugar plum fairies?
We are 16 days away from the joyous event—the birth of our King! Let me ask you a question, how are you feeling? Joyful or miserable, satisfied or sad, contented or condemned? Who, or what, do we need to stand toe to toe with and boom, “Let me go!” ala Moses like?
Is it that streak of perfectionism that runs wide and deep? The one that paralyzes us before we even begin or makes us stop the first time we step back and ‘it’ does not look like we thought ‘it’ would? Oh boy, I know I need today’s reading and reflection from the women’s Advent devotional.
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
How many of us need to break free from that little voice in our head that whispers, “What if?” You know that voice. The one that is stronger than any shard of Kryptonite meant to bring Superman to his knees. The one that turns the birth of our Savior into a frantic blitz of shopping, cooking, creating, and comparing. The voice that leaves us empty and crumpled along with the opened presents on Christmas morning. The voice that makes us vow, “Next year will be different.”
Our unique vocation, meant to aid in our salvation, in light of the whispered doubts, becomes our greatest weakness. “What if I’m not a good wife, mother, friend, Christian, Catholic, woman, human being, sister, cook, cleaner, homeschooler, Bible reader, Scripture memorizer, Christmas shopper, party guest, grocery shopper, daughter-in-law, exerciser, organizer, budgeter, driver, singer, pray-er, blogger, thinker, neighbor…” did that list about cover it all?
We need a battle cry my friend and if it worked for Moses, it’s good enough for us. LET ME GO!” Say it…whisper it…sing it…write it…shout it…proclaim it and believe it.
Who or what do we need to command, “Get thee behind me!” The little green monster that appears every time we see ‘her?’ You know ‘her.’ The woman who seems to have it all…and it’s all together! Her car is clean, her hair neatly styled, her clothes match, her children smile, her husband cooks, her parents adore her, and her neighbors praise her. In her presence all we can do is hope we put on deodorant, pray we brushed our teeth, and wish we could remember the last time we shaved our legs and washed our hair–on the same day because lately, it’s been one or the other! And we envy her…but we don’t know her.
When your ‘her,’ the one you just feel like you can’t ever measure up to, crawls into bed at night, is she worried or scared? Drunk as a skunk or high as a kite? Does she fall asleep crying because she screamed at her kids, snapped at her husband, and gossiped at the book club meeting just to fit in? For all we know, the one we envy…may envy us. She may envy the fact that our old, beater of a car is paid for, our hair is naturally curly (or straight), we can rock a soccer mom tee-shirt, our kids are nice to each other (in public at least), our husband wants to come home every night after work, our parents come in the front door and help with school or laundry or dinner, or we live in the country with no neighbors.
“Get thee behind me Satan…life is not a competition!”
Instead of looking at ‘her,’ let’s look at Him, the King of Kings and Savior of us all. Let’s “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Let’s consider all things in the light of eternity not the glare of our computer or smartphone screens. Do not let an earthly ruler, the nagging of Satan, and the deathly trap of competition keep us from seeking, adoring, and finding true rest in our Baby King.
Today’s Women’s Advent Devotional reflection is meant to encourage you, or challenge you, to consider all things in the light of eternity not the glare of our computer or smartphone screens. To look for Him in the heavens, not her in the school drop-off line. To seek rest in Christ, not the rest of the “stuff.”
*I have started using the New Living Translation. I came across it when I wanted a One Year Bible that included the Books of the Apocrypha. I loved it so much, I ordered a standard New Living Translation Bible. I find it extremely readable.
Lovely Encouragement Cards
These would make a perfect surprise in a friend’s mailbox on those days they are struggling with feeling like they are not enough.
A Constant Reminder
This pretty “I Am Enough” bracelet would make a great gift or stocking stuffer.