Life Wrapped in Unexpected Packages

A Devotion for The Twelfth Day of Christmas January 5
Read Isaiah 42:8-12

“See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42:9

Writer, Max DePree’s granddaughter Zoe was born during the 24th week of pregnancy weighing only 1 lb.7 oz. In her early days he started to write letters which eventually became the book, “Dear Zoe: Letters to my Miracle Grandchild.”

One day Zoe’s nurse came to him with advice on the importance of his being there for his granddaughter. The baby’s father had left so there was no dad around to hold Zoe. He writes to his granddaughter, “While we were looking at you, a wonderful nurse named Ruth came over to chat. After a few minutes she turned to me and said, ‘For the next several months, at least, you’re the surrogate father. I want you to come to the hospital every day to visit Zoe, and when you come I would like you to rub her body and her legs and arms with the tip of your finger. While you’re caressing her, you should tell her over and over how much you love her, because she has to be able to connect your voice to your touch.’ I’m sure Ruth’s suggestion is going to be very important in our relationship together. I also have the feeling that she has given me something enormously profound to ponder.”

Zoe’s birth is a life changing event for Max. The miracle of her life stretches his heart. Her fragility reminds him that when life “seems most secure, it is unspeakably fragile” and “when it is most precarious it is yet unspeakably good.”

God’s gifts of new life come wrapped in unexpected packages. What looks to be defeat becomes an open door to healing, hope and new life. God moves in our lives to change and lift up. We encounter people whose presence causes us to rethink some of our assumptions.  About the time we are ready to give up, God breaks in with Christmas promises, of Peace on Earth. God entered the world in Jesus to show us a better way to live, to be with us in all of our challenges and especially when life is “Unspeakably fragile.”

Prayer: God of Hope and Promise, Thank you for the hope you brought into the world at the birth of Jesus. We give thanks this hope lasts longer than a single season. When our lives are fragile and we frantically struggle to survive, be with us. Open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to the “new things” you are doing among us. Amen.

Additional Advent & Christmastide Devotions can be found by clicking here:   Advent & Christmastide Devotions