Sometimes when I think about Christmas, all I can think about is “poor Mary!”. I think that any women after being pregnant for nine months can’t look at the Christmas story quite the same. I can’t imagine how her body must have ached and how her back must have throbbed after hours upon hours of riding that donkey to Bethlehem simply to sign a census! And her feet! If her feet were anything like mine when I was pregnant, I’m sure Joseph would have been teased her and told her that she had canckles! (Or maybe her husband was more gracious than mine. Not that he’s not loving, he just calls himself… honest). When I was pregnant with my first born, my feet were so swollen that I had to lay on the couch for hours with my feet straight up in the air in hopes that some of the fluid would drain from my unrecognizable toes! I guess that at least I could finally see them again since I hadn’t been able to see that far down in months! Shoes had become a luxury as sandals became the choice option until my son was born.
I wonder what kind of shoes Mary wore? Did she have to keep stretching the laces on her leather sandals to get them on or did she give up on shoes altogether?? I wonder if Mary knew that her soon to be born son would come to this earth to place on the feet of all of mankind a new kind of shoe. The shoes of peace.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
All of creation had been awaiting the coming Messiah who would save them from the eternal consequences of sin. The world was full of hopelessness and pain. Actually, it probably felt a lot like Mary’s feet!!! Aching for relief from the pain of the present and awaiting a promise that had been given, but could not yet be seen. So when Jesus finally came to earth in the surprising form of a beautiful baby boy, creation held it’s breath at the birth of it’s Saviour. For the first time since the Garden of Eden, the earth felt a peace it had not experience in a long time. That peace was our gift from a Heavenly Father who wanted share a little bit of heaven with earth. It became our inheritance.
You may be thinking to yourself that your situation right now doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of peace in it. Maybe you’re feeling the hopelessness or pain that we have talked about. You need to know that Jesus came and completely paid the price on the cross so that you could have victory over every situation you may face in your life. The problem is that you also have an enemy that doesn’t want you to experience any of that freedom and peace. He will try in any way that he can to convince you that your situation is hopeless and that it will never change.
So what is the truth? That Jesus already won the battle! But how do we receive that promise? We don’t fight the battle in the flesh. We recognize that it’s a spiritual war on our souls, and we fight it God’s way. The opposite way that would make any kind sense to our earthly minds. When humanity was waiting for a warring king to come riding in on a white horse, God sent a quiet baby to save the world. In the same way, instead of fighting our battles with our fists or with worry or words of defence, we fight our battles by putting on the shoes of peace. God simply told us to stand firm, wear shoes of peace, and let him fight the battle for us. Why? Because the battle was already won when Jesus came to this earth and died for all of mankind. Amazing isn’t it? Doesn’t it just make your shoulder’s relax a little and your tension headache release? Rest. Rest in the fact that God is sovereign and nothing takes Him by surprise. He has the whole world in His hands, even yours, and He won’t let you down.
So before you leave your house today and pull on your winter boot, why not put on the shoes of peace and praise God that he is going to fight the battle for you!
Isaiah 30:32 “Every stroke the Lord lays on them with his punishing club will be to the music of timbrels and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.”
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