Cat Barfed ON Christmas Tree: Our Holiday Prayer Letter

January 1, 2013 by Steve Peifer

Moshi_catNancy is out with a friend, and our cat throws up ON the Christmas tree. I immediately grab my phone and text her, because I know it will make her laugh. Later, I ponder something:  the enemy meant that to depress us, but what it exposed was that after 27 years, my favorite thing in the world is making my wife laugh. It was meant for evil, but He used it for good.

buffaloHard to write a holiday letter this year. The massacre in CT took all of it out of me. As I thought of the horror, it came to mind that 2000 years ago, there was another massacre. Herod ordered the death of all infants because one of those infants was a threat to his power. A reminder that we live in a fallen world, and that we need to share the Good News like it is a matter of life and death.

sunsetHonestly, this was a pretty crummy year in so many ways. And I am allergic to those that say that “Praise God Anyway” will carry the day. But in this year of disappointments and setbacks, there have been some hard-earned insights.

  1. Only in brokenness is there life.
  2. There used to be such a fear of saying I don’t know; now it is a relief.
  3. I just want to do what He wants me to do.
  4. What the enemy means for evil, the Lord longs to redeem for good; if we will let Him.

In the midst of a tough year, I’m closer to the Lord and my wife than I ever have been. It’s a gift, and it came from having to rely on Him because there were no other options open.

Africa_treesIt’s where I should have always been, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get here, but I promise you, it is a good place to be.

Our prayer is that 2013 draws you closer to the Father than you have ever been. Thanks for making it possible to be here, and be a part of helping so many.

We are so grateful for you, and our prayers are with you.

Your Pal,

From Nancy:

Emmanuel … God with us.

The reality of this truth is what sums up this year for me. Never before have I faced situations where I was so weak, so totally unable to do what needed to be done, so unable to do anything that could make things “right” … but in the midst of these difficult times, never before have I seen Jesus act so powerfully, so perfectly, so rightly.

And yet some of the situations remained seemingly unchanged. I guess the beauty of this year is that I am learning to encounter The Great I AM in the midst of messy situations. I am learning to abide in His presence even when everything is not “right”; to find His perfect peace when situations are not tidy and when I cannot alter them in any way; to know Him when there is a swirl of confusion and chaos around me.

This world is broken. God knows it full well. That is why Jesus-Emmanuel-God with us is so worth celebrating! Until that time when all is put right, we have Emmanuel-God with us right in the midst of the awful, the messy, the ugly, the wrongness of this broken world bringing hope and even joy to our weary hearts.

May the reality of Emmanuel be revealed in deeper and deeper ways to you in this season and in the new year.