Scripture Reading: Exodus 15:22-27
What makes Christmas so special for so many people? I think the answer can be summed up in one word: JESUS. That one word contains more power, more hope and more love than all the others words in the world combined.
Even the word “Jesus” has a significant meaning. It comes from the Greek form of the name Joshua, which means “the Lord saves.” So to say that “Jesus Saves” is like saying, in bold and underlined, “The Savior Saves!” It is the saving power of Jesus that makes Christmas so special to me and millions of others around the world.
It is that same Truth that God has been trying to get across to people for thousands of years.
Three thousand years ago there were over 600,000 men, women and children who were on the verge of death in the middle of a desert. They had just lived through some of the most fearful and awesome moments ever recorded in history, and yet they found themselves once again at the edge of calamity.
Having found no water in the desert for three days, they finally found water at a place called Marah―only to discover that the water was bitter and was undrinkable. This was the last straw. They grumbled to Moses, and Moses did the best thing any of us can do in such a situation―he cried out to the Lord:
“Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet” (Exodus 15:25).
Once again, “the Lord saves.” There’s a big difference between grumbling to others and crying out to the Lord. “Grumbling to others” is giving in to defeat and failure. “Crying out to the Lord” is looking up with hope and anticipation. The people grumbled. Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him exactly what to do.
A man here in the U.S., by the name of George Washington Carver, saw poverty and desperation all around him in his home state of Georgia. He cried out to the Lord, asking God to show him the secrets of the universe. God told George that this would be too much for him to handle! So George asked God to show him the secrets of the peanut, an unimportant plant at that time that grew in Georgia. In response to that cry, God showed George hundreds of uses for the peanut, including peanut butter, oils, lubricants, paints and more. George put his wisdom to use and turned the peanut into a $13 million industry for the state of Georgia.
Back to Jesus, I heard from a woman who had grown up as a Buddhist, and who one day she found herself in the blackest of holes. Her marriage, her family, and her life were a total mess. She didn’t know what to do. So she did the one thing she hadn’t tried before. She called out to Jesus, whom she had heard about on television. Standing in the middle of her living room, she looked up to heaven, with tears in her eyes, and called out to Jesus as loud as she could. With that cry, Jesus totally and completely transformed her life here on earth and gave her a future in heaven, too. You can read her whole story on The Ranch website by going to “Stories” and clicking on “Jesus Get Me Out Of Here!”
I don’t know where you are today or what you’re going through. But the Lord knows―the Lord who saves, the Lord who took a truly desperate situation and completely turned it around by showing Moses the simplest of solutions―to throw a stick into bitter water to make it sweet.
What do you need from the Lord today? Don’t grumble to others. Cry out to the Lord! Listen for His answer, no matter how simple. You might find that the solution is right under your nose. You just need the Lord to show it to you! You’ll find out again that the Lord is able to save you and those around you, perhaps even hundreds of thousands around you! Remember what “Jesus” means: “The Lord Saves!”
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.