And there were Shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the Angel said to them “do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people”.
When we are living our lives and everything seems to be ticking over, our work and family lives are just carrying on their day to day routine, we can often forget about God’s presence and then when he tries to get our attention it can be very scary. The Shepherds were just going about their daily routine when the Angel appeared to give them a message. God could give us a message through a friend who is suggesting we try something new, maybe a new job opportunity has arisen or we have a realisation that a relationship is no longer good for us. God has given us free will to make our own choices in life but he will always try to show us the best way forward because he loves us so much that he wants us to have Joy in our lives. The Angels were talking about the Good news of the birth of Christ. Through his life on earth Jesus Christ freed humanity from the things of this world that can bring us down because he showed that every person is loved by God and God wants them to be the best they can be and have joy in their lives.
My life changed dramatically when I lost my sight as a child, the future of being a nurse and caring for others which I had planned was now not going to be possible. But every day of my life, I know that Christ is walking next to me (as well as my guide dog) and because of that I don’t fear going out and being a part of this world. When I was 17 God sent me a message and that was that whatever my physical disability he wanted to use me to bring spiritual healing, joy and hope to those around me and he called me to be a priest. It took some 15 years for me to be able to grow in confidence but now at the age of 34 I am part way through my training. God has totally changed my life as he has taken my disability and used it to help me grow as a person and connect with those around me who are also going through difficult times.
I pray that you will today have courage and not be afraid of hearing Gods message for you. Don’t listen to the words of society that may not be able to see past your circumstances but listen to God through those around you who are there to encourage you and may you feel God’s love today and the rest of your life.
Melissa is 34 years old, and has been registered blind since the age of 16. She works as a legal secretary, is currently training to be a priest and has represented Great Britain at the Disabled World Archery Championships.
She has felt God’s presence in her life since the age of eight and he has supported her through the difficulty of becoming partially sighted. She says: ‘It is very scary trying to see yourself through God’s eyes, I used to be very shy and did not have much confidence which is why it took me 15 years between hearing God’s call for me to be a priest to me starting my training because I had to slowly catch up to see myself in the way that God does. He is happy to give us the time to grow but will always be there to support and encourage us along the way.’
Today please think about what your future could be and what you are afraid of, which may be stopping you from fulfilling your potential. Do you need to get training, more confidence, move area or change your friendships? Think about it, pray about it and find a friend to talk to about your hopes for your future as through support of others God will help you to grow into who he knows you can be.