God gives hope in a world of uncertainty

“Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst (1592-1656)

By Father Victorin Kalassi Oussoï SVD

How often do we want to be sure before we do something, especially those of us who don’t like adventure or who are perfectionists? Although I love adventure, I often looked for security before doing anything.

When I was a student in Benin, a friend asked me to invest in reselling old books with him. I was not sure of the return on this investment. So, what was stopping me from joining him? I did not want to take the risk because I was unsure.

I was afraid of losing the little money I had. I was not ready to enter a world of uncertainty. I was not ready to let the insecurities of life weaken me.

As I reflect on the recent Christmas Gospel, which focuses on the deep meaning of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world, I began to understand that God’s hands are more active in the world of uncertainty.

Indeed, God’s world is the world of uncertainty in which people learn to trust God who is responsible. It’s about daring to believe in God, which requires total dependence on God.

Mary and Joseph accepted the dare and believed in God. We, too, are totally dependent on God’s guidance. When we fully trust in God, we stop trying to control the outcomes of our lives.

We do not know the result of this trip. So, we walk in a world of uncertainty. Indeed, Mary and Joseph responded with faith and accepted the situation as God’s plan for them and her Son’s coming into the world. They did not understand, but they accepted and believed that this frail, weak child is God who comes into the world through them.

And I now hope that through this new year, we have learned to lean on God—that we understand that the mighty power of God is more active in the world of uncertainty. If we always want to be safe and responsible for everything, then God cannot work miracles in our lives.

God shows himself to those who are weak and need His help. Also, the coming of Jesus from the host of angels is announced to the shepherds.

The shepherds were viewed as one of the most outcast groups in society. If they thought they are not worthy of God’s grace, they must have been shocked when the angels announce that God was born in their city. We will always be afraid of meeting God if we keep thinking that we must be worthy to meet Him.

The angel had to urge the shepherds to let go of their horror; only then did the miracle of the night enter their souls. They were escorted to Bethlehem. They believed and set out to find the newborn king, and their faith was rewarded.

The shepherds were outcasts, the poor and despised, the great secret was revealed to them, and they became the first to know the Savior of mankind. Only those who know the small can be exposed to the wonder of greater realities.

We do not have to do anything to deserve God; we just have to believe and accept Him to enter His world. No matter who we are or what condition we are in, Emmanuel, God who belittles himself as a baby, is in our midst. He brings us peace and hope!

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