Jesus Still Saves

by Cynthia Cavanaugh @CavCynthia

Her deep brown-black eyes and dark curly hair caught my attention as I walked by. She was standing alone, holding a book, and as our eyes met, she timidly called out, “Where’s my Nana?”

My friend and I looked around the store and didn’t see any adults close by. We leaned down and assured this sweet little three-year old we would help her find Nana. I offered my hand, and she clung to it instantly, allowing us to lead her to the front of the building. But before we reached the front counter, she saw her Nana and went running. It was a sweet reunion. She was safe in the arms of love once more.

In her darling voice, she said, “Thank you for saving me.” My heart melted, and as we walked away, what her words kept echoing through my head. The store was filled with holiday décor, and I thought about what “saving” could mean for all of us this Christmas season.

Is there something you need saving from as the holiday draws near? Maybe an overly busy schedule and not enough time to get everything done? Financial difficulty? A broken relationship? Are your expectations insanely high for you in the Christmas rush?

As I think on the days ahead, my heart breaks for a few of my dear friends. One recently suddenly lost her husband; two dear friends lost their adult daughters during this past year. I’d love to gather them all up and take away the pain, to save them from the heartache of celebrating memories rather than holding their loved ones close. Others face sickness or financial woes. The holiday season seems like a cruel joke when in the midst of such agony.

And yet, time marches on, no matter what our circumstances may be.

Christmas will come as it does every year, and right on time. We will once again remember the arrival of God in the flesh, in the form of a helpless baby, come to save the world. He may seem distant and even uncaring to us at the present. But His coming was a gift of unfathomable love, leaving heaven to be our Immanuel, God with us. And these two thousand years later, He continues in His desire to be with us, waiting for us to take His outstretched hand, asking us to simply trust Him.

The sweet, lost little girl in the store that day had to take my hand in trust, even though she was afraid, so that she could be saved. Jesus wants us to do the same for us. As we put our hand in His, He saves us. As we acknowledge we can’t do Christmas without Him, He saves us. As we recognize we can’t solve all our family issues, He saves us. And as we try to make Christmas a meaningful time for our families with limited resources, he saves us.

Don’t lose sight of the saving hand of Jesus this busy season. He is still God with us. He can still do what we cannot, all in response to our determination to trust Him even when we are afraid or overwhelmed.

 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 NASB

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Jesus still saves – holiday inspiration from Cynthia Cavanaugh, @CavCynthia on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

cynthia cavanaughAbout the author: Cynthia Cavanaugh is the author of five books, including Anchored, and is a speaker, life coach, and leadership professor at Trinity Western University. She knows nothing about coffee and is a self-proclaimed tea addict who loves connecting with women helping them to flourish. 

Join the conversation: From what do you need saving during this Christmas season?

 

Forever Grateful

by Pam Farrel

Our preschool granddaughter reaches for my hand anytime we walk. Recently as we walked together, she heard the rumbling of a train nearby and, reaching up for me, said, “Nana, I  ‘fraid.”  I immediately picked her up and gave her a hug. She knows I’m there for her. She knows I will rescue her.

Just as a loving grandparent is prone to do, God uses a variety of ways to let us know He is there for us. In my own life I have seen abundant evidence of His care over the years in our marriage, family, and home. He has blessed me with amazing friends and given me a job that I love. I’ve been privileged to travel to many exciting places and meet interesting, inspiring people.

Of course, my hope in Him goes beyond life on earth to an eternity I know I will spend with Him. I first fell in love with my husband when he explained the meaning of a simple phrase on the front of his leather Bible—“That they may know You.” This phrase comes from John 17:3 : “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (NIV)

Eternal life is a wonderful promise, but the blessing of His presence starts right here on earth, long before I will ever get to heaven. Knowing Christ is to know the one called “Immanuel,” which means, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). It is to know the God who said, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). It is to know the God who promised, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NASB).

While eternity with Him is my future, He has given me many personal reassurances that He is a God for the present as well. I’ve found that remembering God’s presence and involvement in my life has been a key to trusting Him for whatever lies ahead.

  • God heard my cry for help when my abusive father was out of control.
  • God walked me out of chaos through the wisdom of a godly mentor.
  • God sent me Bill, an amazing partner in life and love.
  • God sent food when Bill and I were struggling, poor students.
  • God gave me a bicycle to ride when my car died.
  • God gave Bill and I hope in the face of death, disease, and disappointments.
  • God gave me love when I was angry or frustrated in my marriage.
  • God challenged me to rethink how to run a love relationship.
  • God gave me wisdom when I was perplexed in my parenting.
  • God has always been with me to process my emotions so Bill is spared the drama!

And daily, my Grateful to God list continues to grow.

Do you struggle to trust God for your future? A great way to increase your faith is to begin your own gratitude list. Then take some time alone or even with your spouse or family to review and thank God for all He has done to prove his love, grace and provision in your life. Recognizing Him at work in the here and now will supply confidence to trust Him for your future.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13 NASB

pam ferrelAbout the author: Pam Farrel is an international speaker, relationship specialist and best-selling author of over 45 books including her newest books: 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman and Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience . She and her husband, Bill, are Co-Directors of Love-Wise.  Follow them on Twitter (@pamfarrel)  and Bill and Pam Farrel on Facebook.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Pam’s book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What has the Lord done in your life that you need to put at the top of your gratitude list?