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Unmerited Favor and A Christmas Prayer
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Unmerited Favor From Jehovah Jireh


As 2016 comes to a close and I look back at all that has happened this year, I can't help but think to myself, "Is it over yet? Can a girl get a restart button?!" I must confess it has been hard for me to be or feel joyful as I've walked through so much uncertainty and frustrating trials these past 12 months. As Christians we know that God is good, but when life is full of painful circumstances it can be hard to believe it. But because of God's unending grace and intimate love for each of us, He meets us in this place. He shows up in ways that simply cannot be ignored and grants us mercy for our fears and doubts. This happened to me just this week. I was met with an enormous amount of unmerited favor from God, our Provider. 


A Christmas Prayer Granted 


Tuesday morning I woke with pain in my body and worry on my heart. I hadn't slept well the night before and seemed to be stuck in an anxious position towards the future. All I could think about were the medical bills piling up, the amount of monthly support I am short, and the fatigue that seemed to keep me from doing anything about those things. I paced my bedroom floor for a few minutes and finally prayed, "Lord, please make a way where these medical bills will no longer be a problem." And then I rested. 

No later than when the sun hid behind the trees did my roommate walk in with a card addressed to me. Knowing the sender I immediately opened the card to soak up the encouraging words that always accompany her letters. While the card was filled with incredibly kind words, it was the gift inside that pushed me to inconsolable tears. A check to cover every penny of my medical bills and a memo line that read, "Because God wanted me to."
While the Magi's joy was based upon an eternal saving grace and not a gift that will eventually pass away, I feel as though I can understand the weight that had been lifted off of their shoulders when they spotted the Star of Bethlehem. They were saved. God had shown up. But then again, that's just what He does.

I've recently been comforted by the idea that the Lord simply can't help Himself when it comes to saving His children. Sometimes it comes in ways we understand and other times His ways feel like an unfair mystery. But no matter how He does it or what His answer is, God will always come for us. The night He sent His Son to be born of a virgin and die the Messiah's prophesied death, can be our assurance that His love and dedication is true. Aren't you just so thankful for Jesus?

This Christmas season I want to wish you the peace that comes from our Savior's glorious appearance on that dimly lit Bethlehem night. I wish you many affirmations that remind you or prove to you that God is for you. I pray you feel the joy of the Magi, the awe of the shepherds, and are able to ponder all these things in your heart like Mother Mary. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my heart to yours,

Meg
Ministry Update:

Although I am still in treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease I have begun to work from home these past few weeks. It's been a long year but I am thankful to end it being back with my team. I hope to continue to gain strength and stamina and slowly build up my hours and workload. For now, I see my team every Tuesday morning and work on projects from home as I am able. The picture below was taken Friday night at our office Christmas party. These are just a few of my co-workers that make up our SIM recruitment team. 


While I have been very blessed with committed financial supporters and generous one-time donors, my monthly support commitments have fallen quite a bit this last year. I am extremely grateful to those of you who have continued to give of your prayer and finances. It's no coincidence that the Church is made up of the body of Christ and that missions is completed as a team effort. There is no ministry that can be accomplished by oneself. In light of that and "believing that no one should live or die without hearing the gospel", I would like to ask those of you who are not currently giving to prayerfully consider "linking shields" with me in ministry by giving of your finances. I would honored and humbled to be in ministry with each of you.
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Prayers and Praises:

Praise the Lord for His generous favor this month!
I will be forever unworthy and yet forever grateful.

Praise God for allowing us to be in relationship with Him even after we doubt!

Praise God for a new, cheaper townhouse I am now renting with two of my closest SIM girlfriends. Praise the Lord the move across town went well and that we have settled in nicely just in time for the holidays.

Pray for Syria. If you haven't seen the latest headlines out of the Middle East, please take a moment to read up on the civil war happening in Syria. The hardest struck city in this battle has been Aleppo. Men, women, and children are being executed, starving to death, and not receiving the proper medical treatment they need because of the evil that has taken over their country. Not everyone can or should go to Syria, but we can pray. We can give. We can make calls to our representatives, governors, and senators. Let us not forget the very people Jesus came to first. 

If you have been looking for an organization that is assisting the people and refugees of Syria, I would recommend researching the Preemptive Love Coalition. They are a boots-on-the-ground organization that is feeding and aiding over 25,000 people a day and are in need of financial assistance to continue their work. 

Pray for our nation. There have been and will be many changes taking place in many parts of our country. Pray that as children of the Light we shine brighter than the darkness, hate, and fear, and shout the love of Christ in our communities. 

 

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Meg Smith
Serving with SIM in
Global Mission Mobilization
Missionary #039485

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