Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, January 6 - Subtle Blessings

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” — 2 Corinthians 4:18

It is easy to see with our eyes what is right in front of us. Some things are very bright and loud, such as a game on the big screen, a fountain or a toddler demanding our attention. Many other things are subtle, like wildflowers under our feet, steam rising from a fresh cup of coffee, or the smell of our mother’s cheek when we kiss her.

Faith invites us to explore the subtle things, and a lot of times the invisible things. When Jesus was born, Simeon held Him in his arms in the Temple when He was presented as the firstborn Son to be consecrated to God (Luke 2:25-35). Except for Jesus’ parents, Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:36-38), no one knew He was the promised Messiah. He was “invisible.”

That day in the temple, Simeon and Anna saw in their hearts the hope, promise and magnificence that Jesus would someday become. Mary and Joseph stood by, receiving yet another unseen affirmation that Jesus was the Messiah, God’s only Son, sent by God to Mary’s womb to save us from sin.

As a mother myself, I can see Mary being totally frightened and bewildered at having to care for the most important newborn ever. How much awe Mary must have felt with that precious Heavenly burden in her embrace! I can imagine her going over and over again in her mind that she was highly favored and blessed to receive God’s mighty blessing as a very part of her own body, and that she would be protected.

Although we sometimes cannot see the blessings of God because they are subtle or invisible, His promises are nevertheless unshakable. As Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Mary clung to these promises all her life and all of Jesus’ life on earth. And we can hold fast to these promises through the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting that God will redeem us all.

— Mary Nuckols

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