Wednesday, December 16, 2015 

We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of love and of power, and of sound mind. II Timothy 1:7 

Once upon a magical Christmas season, when I was just a little girl (Yes, I really was little once!) I was in the school pageant. I played the angel who spoke to the shepherds of Jesus’ birth. “For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy …” A long announcement for a young mind and spirit to tackle. But with great love, I took on the role; and with great diligence, I practiced day and night for weeks.

The bishop was in attendance that night. At the end of our play, as we took our bows, he came up on stage to congratulate us. Giving me a proud hug, he commented to all how well I had done that challenging part. Yes, I remembered every line, put feeling into every word. Even then, I was blessed enough to have some understanding of the joy and hope that is in the baby Jesus, and had somehow found a way to convey it.

Years later, as a roiling, rebellious adolescent, I could not speak onstage at all, turning into a stammering, tearful mess the few times I tried. You see, I had all but forgotten the joy of Christ at that point, and therefore had no solid defenses against confusion and fear. Those who know me now know I have long since defeated that fear, replaced it with a trust in God and in his presence in others. I know this is because I seek God’s promised re-creation each day, a renewal of his Spirit’s fruits of peace, love, and joy in me. And far better than a super Starbucks deal, I get a free refill each morning, one that wakes up my soul and my heart, and chases away the cobwebs of worries and angst.

-Hansie Haier 

Prayer: Dear Lord, How I love the way you calm me, reassure me, shine on me, and light me up with joy whenever I turn your way! Keep me ever near, and help me share these special Christmas gifts with all I meet, throughout the holiday season and far beyond. Amen.