There is only one day left in the devotional I read every year during this season; tomorrow is the twelfth day of Christmas.
I love reading the same book every year, seeing what I've underlined in year's past, finding something that I'd not noticed before. This year, I've started dating the notes I make, to record and remember the when for years to come.
(And I wonder if someday my girls will read it, or perhaps their children, and want to know when and why I underlined the things I did. Reading another person's book, seeing their notes in the margin and funny squiggles and stars to mark something vital, gives insight into who they are, I think.)
One of these things in the picture was underlined already, the other I noticed this morning. It's hard to see well, but the contrast struck me today--because these two quotes sit next to each other on the page--one on one page, the other opposite.
It's easy to think that it's a happenstance of typesetting; it's just how the words flowed onto the page in design. Or perhaps it's Providence demonstrating the contrast between them visually as well as in idea.
Here's what's written on the left-hand page:
So to trust in a promise is faith: complete dependence without complete knowledge. And trusting in a command produces obedience...
And this is what's written opposite on the right-hand page:
And the lack of knowledge, far from producing trust in the wicked one, produces fear. Lack of knowledge is lack of control, and the loss of control threatens his power.
Wangerin is comparing Joseph and Herod, and in their lack of knowledge we can see ourselves. Each day we are faced with things we know only in part.
Lack of knowledge--incomplete knowledge--is part of my life. Part of your life. What will it produce in me? Trust? Fear?
How often do I think or say, "I don't know"? And in those words I can easily relate to fear, lack of control, loss of control, threat. I can easily be Herod.
As this new year begins, I pray my response will change to be like Joseph's. Trust. Complete dependence. Faith. Obedience.