5th Day of Christmas

by Matthew B. Harper

So Abraham called that place ‘The LORD will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.’ (Genesis 22:14)

This name of God is beloved of mine because it is not just a testimony, it is also a powerful reassurance. It is a reminder that God has provided for me in so very many ways, and that God will provide for me in anything that comes.

In my life I have always longed for family. I have always wanted to feel needed and necessary, valued and loved, as part of a loving community. But I have only a very small family, and it has long been fractured and broken. At this point in my life almost all of what little family I have left has abandoned me. But in that seeming loss, God has provided for me abundantly.

If I were to count all those people in my life now that I love and value, that I count as family, I would quickly run out of all of my fingers and toes, and most of yours as well! These people may not be considered part of my traditional family, but they are certainly part of my intentional family.

This intentional family does not come easily. It does not come without decisions and actions. We have to decide not just to be totally open to someone else, but we also have to love that person when they are totally open to us and we are subject to all of their secrets and foibles. Being a part of a loving family can be work, but it is wonderful work. It is work that allows us to overcome all of our separations and anxieties, and be accepted. A family allows us to be the most fully ourselves that we can be, and be accepted.

I do not know what the future of my life will bring, I have only plans, hopes, and dreams, but I know whom it is that I follow, and I know God will provide.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing. (Hymn 100)

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