Our celebrations of Christ’s birth are coming to a close, but our faith in Christmas can and should last all year long! Our hope began in a manger and continued to the cross where Christ died for our sins. He rose again and left us with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we should rejoice every day while here on earth.
I just watched the black-and-white movie, The Bells of St. Mary’s, from 1945 starring Bing Crosby as Father O’Malley and Ingrid Bergman as Sister Mary Benedict. I have never seen this before, and I don’t know how I missed it. If I had to summarize the movie in one word it would be faith. No matter the circumstances, Sister Benedict has faith…so much that people’s hearts are changed, and mountains are really moved!
Have you seen the movie? It is tender and uplifting. Of course, it involves songs as Bing Crosby cannot NOT sing in a movie! If you haven’t seen it in a while, watch it. Your heart will be warmed, and your spirit filled.
I won’t spoil the story line for you, but at the end, Sister Mary is faced with disturbing news, rocking her world. She doesn’t understand it, and in her human flesh, can’t imagine surviving it. What does she do? She gets on her knees, crys to her heavenly Father, and prays. Her prayers aren’t for things to be different. No, she asked God to give her what she needs to endure, survive, and do His will. Although she doesn’t know why this is happening, she trusts God.
The prayer is difficult for her to say because her heart is broken; yet, she is true to her faith. She walks the walk! Wow. How many times do we plead with God to change our situation instead of asking Him to give us what we need? I think many of us could learn a lesson from Sister Mary Benedict.
The best part is after she surrenders everything to God, He blesses her with knowledge about the situation. This “knowing” helps her step boldly into the next chapter of her life.
This makes me think of Joshua 3:13 and the Jordan River crossing. When the priests carrying the ark of the Lord approached the raging river, they petitioned God to part the waters for them. His response? “Step in!” Yes, He wanted them to take a big leap of faith and trust Him to part the waters for them.
Can you imagine the stress? Not only were they worried about their own lives, but they were concerned for the Ark. The stakes where high, but God is greater, and He proved it by parting the river as soon as they set foot in the Jordan River.
As we enter 2024, let us seek to be more like Sister Mary: firm in our faith. When we come to our Jordan Rivers, may have unwavering trust in God’s plan and protection.
I wrote my booklet, Time for a Shift, several years ago, but the message is relevant as we enter a season of dark forces at play in the world. I encourage you to get a copy and remain steadfast in your faith.