What God Lost

Christmas Story 2022 

Do I have a story to tell you!
It’s a story that will change your life. 
Where should I start?
It started long before you were born, long before the world began…
But I wasn’t here than either.
Let me introduce myself, though I do not play much of a part in the story.

I’m Nathaniel.
I’m an angel, created by God, of course. (Who else can create?)
We were made to be God’s messengers and give Him praise.
And that’s what this story is meant to do.
If I could just begin….

Well, let me start at creation. We were made before God started creating all this. We watched as He brought the sun, moon and stars into being by just His Word.
You should have heard us sing. What a choir of ongoing praise as God spoke into being plant after plant, animal after animal, each one more exquisite, unique, special than the last—all by His very Word.

Then God paused.
When He paused, it’s like we knew not to sing.
We stood waiting this next creation.
We knew it would be more special than anything He had done so far.

God, with deliberate motion, took dust and formed a being. And breathed into his nostrils His own life (Genesis 2:7).
We stood in awe.

Man—made in God’s own image.
And the special attention God devoted to man, meant we would serve man too.
Man was made a little lower than us, but crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:6-8).

But, as God watched man, though perfectly made, man needed something more. 
It was like God allowed man to feel his need, so he would learn God would complete his need.
What an endearing relationship, like a Father would have for his son.

God caused man to sleep, took one of his ribs and formed woman.
When man awoke and noticed the woman, his eye brightened, his entire expression changed to delight.
God’s face shone as He had pleased the man.
God enjoyed giving pleasure.

God walked with man every evening.
I could tell God looked forward to that time with man.
As I watched God with man, I knew that was a special relationship.
One I would never have with God.
I could only watch from a distance, as an outsider. 
It wasn’t that I felt left out, angels have much to praise God about, but we didn’t have that special communion with God.
I would praise God until the end of all time and then on into eternity.

Immediately I felt a shift in one angel—our leader, Lucifer. 

His singing wasn’t as whole hearted. 
I caught him watching the man, the intensity of his gaze alarmed me. 
I wasn’t sure what to call it then, because nothing had tainted God’s creation. All was perfect, complete.  
But now I know what it was— jealously.
He wanted what man had.
No, he wanted what God had.
I shivered at the thought. 
No being could ever take God’s place. 

Lucifer must have felt my gaze and met my eye. He raised his eyebrow, as if questioning me.
His look penetrated inside me like he could read my mind. 
I shivered and shook my head, I know he couldn’t, but still.
I looked back at God. 
It was for Him that I sang.

It wasn’t long before I noticed more angels not singing whole heartedly.
Dissention grew like ripples across a lake.
God’s relationship with man seemed to incite this dissention.
As God walked with man every evening, man shared what new discovery he had made during the day.
It was too much for Lucifer.
He would not share any attention. 
He was the brightest, fairest, most beautiful creature God had created, after all.
But he would not share God’s attention with anyone.
As God turned his attention more to what man was doing, naming the animals, Lucifer turned his attention to stirring discontent in the heavens.

One day, though of course, we don’t operate in time but for your understanding, God called Lucifer to him, “Help man as he names the animals.”
Lucifer, instead of submitting to God’s instructions, looked into God’s eyes. 
I gasped at his haughty expression, his chin jutted out, eyes flashed fire as he, by his actions refused to take orders from any man or even God. He paced several steps from God, then turned back. 
Instead of acknowledging God’s instructions, he stood taller and challenged God.
I held my breath, along with all the heavenly host, wondering what he would dare say to God with that attitude. 
If I were a man, dependent upon breath to keep me alive, I may have fainted right there!

He said, “I will ascend to heaven.
I will raise my throne above the stars of God.”
I gasped. He dared to compare his position with the supreme throne of God? 
But he was not finished.
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
I will make myself like the Most High.” 
He continued speaking, but my thoughts were consumed with what he’d already said. (Isaiah 14:12-14).

How could anyone challenge the Most High God and live? 
Did he think he could confront God and win?
When Lucifer finished his tirade, stepping forward as if ready to challenge any rebuttal, I reminded myself to close my mouth. 

The entire heavenly host held our breath waiting God’s response.
That was the first time since creation, I heard complete silence in heaven.
I know we have no time in heaven, but for lack of a better way to describe it, it was like a thousand years!

What would God do or say?

God ignored his challenge but instead addressed the rest of His heavenly force, although He already knew the answer. (That was His way…asking implies responsibility for their own choice.) “Who else agrees?”
I stood strong. I would never align myself with Lucifer. Didn’t he remember the glory due God’s Name? Didn’t I find wholeness in giving God praise?
But around me, I felt a stirring as one by one, angels  flew behind Lucifer.
I don’t have a heart that beats like man, but if I did, my heart would have stopped at the host of angels that aligned themselves with Lucifer. Why would they reject their God and Creator?
When the masses finally settled, (There I go again with time, it is handy to use.) a third of the heavenly host stood with Lucifer.
Lucifer smiled. He raised his chin as if daring God to do something to him now.

God’s eyes no longer shone of pleasure but blazed with fire. It was the first time I had ever seen God angry.
Even though I wasn’t part of this dissentious group, I looked down, ashamed my group had caused God’s anger.
Could God allow such insurrection?
He was supreme. He was the Most High God. There was no other.
I wanted to speak for Him.
I wanted to scream at Lucifer.
But God spoke.
It wasn’t a loud, threatening voice. It was calm and low, but all had no doubt His Word would be final. “You have chosen.”
With this declaration, He spoke, “Leave.” He said it again, “Leave. You and your followers are not permitted here again.”
With His words, those who had rebelled were cast out of heaven—gone! Never to return to give Him praise.

.By Lucifer’s expression, I could tell, this was not what he’d expected.
But of course, he must obey God. 
Everyone does.
And all those angels who had been chosen to follow him left with him.

There was a moment of stunned silence as those who remained processed what we had just witnessed.
As if a drafty door had been slammed shut and the sunshine could shine again.
I could breathe better, if I was human, for it was like their insubordination hindered our worship of God. 

I began to sing and all the heavenly host joined me, “Holy, holy, holy is the God Almighty Who are and is and will be.”
I remember the look God gave me as we sang. What immense pleasure I was giving Him.
I would live every day of my life to keep that look on His face.
We sang praise to the God of all creation.
God smiled, but as He watched the man He created, His face showed concern.

I watched—not with envy. That’s what started Lucifer’s downward spin, but with incomprehension. Why would our great God choose to talk with man? How I wished I could give Him the communion He had with man. Because it pleased Him so much. But that was not my place. 
I was content with where He had put me.
He always returned from His visits with man with such pleasure, no singing of mine could add that look to His face.
But it was not to last.

Lucifer was not content to keep his fall to himself. He no longer stirred heaven, now he created unrest on earth.  Well, he could actually not “create” anything, only God can “create,” but he could destroy what God made, if God allowed.
Though I could not even conceive of Lucifer’s evil devises, I can look back and understand.
Lucifer noticed the pleasure man gave to God. He wanted it.
He planned to get it.
He would attack God’s most treasured creatures.
Not only would he destroy God’s pleasure, but he would put man in his rightful place, beneath Lucifer’s feet. He would be elevated to his rightful position. He would be pleased.
As Lucifer planned to accomplish this, he realized Adam would never doubt God.
But his wife—if Lucifer could make her question God, he would get to Adam. And so, he watched for his chance.
He couldn’t approach her as he was, she’d recognize his message. So he disguised himself in beauty and spoke to her through God’s own creature. 
To use God’s own creation against Him—what could be more evil?

It was with a sense of urgency God called me for an errand. It didn’t make sense to me, but I was just to stand with the woman.
I didn’t understand at the time, but God knew what was about to take place. I couldn’t stop what was to happen, but I was to be a presence to remind her of her purpose.
Eve was alone.
A rustle in the branches of a nearby bush caused her to look.
An animal sat perched on the branch, as if waiting for her.
“Aren’t you a pretty one?” She reached for it.

It’s difficult for people now to comprehend creation with no fear or defense instincts, because that is all they know, but at this time, fear did not exist. There was no need for fear or defense, because there was no danger or evil consequence. Perfect love and trust casts out fear. (I John 4:18).

The creature coiled around her arm. Its graceful movement was without wasted energy. Its coat was like skin, only dry. Its beauty held a power over her.
Eve knew nothing of evil. What could she know of her own innocence? It just was.
But this creature held a different presence—she felt it. 
So did I. 
She was uncomfortable. 
I was alarmed.
The creature clung to her arm and held her gaze with its clear, intense eyes. “You are hungry?”
It said it as a question, but suggested it as a command.
It gestured to the tree behind her. “That fruit looks good.”
She followed its gaze to the Tree of Good and Evil.
I could tell she considered its question. 
Its eyes held force and power. “Eat it.”
Eve shivered. 
Would she uncoil this creature from her arm and fling it from her?
Its presence felt stronger now.
She hesitated then stuttered. “God says we aren’t to eat or even touch it, lest we die.”
She didn’t understand the rule. Didn’t she misapply it, saying she couldn’t touch it?
Where was Adam? I was torn from watching, to flying to get Adam to help her. If Adam were here, he would explain things to her. I resisted the urge to leave and stayed. My presence didn’t seem to have any effect on the evil I felt. I willed her to run.

The creature slid up her arm to rest around her shoulders. “There’s no harm in touching…” He reached toward a branch and grabbed a fruit with its jaws and brought it to her face.
I saw her study the fruit. 
She whispered, “It looks like what we ate yesterday…”
Juice dripped from the creatures lips as it held the fruit closer to her hand.
She licked her lips. 
The fruit was too big for the serpent’s jaws.
It slipped.

As it fell, Eve caught it.
Now the creature could talk again. “See, you’re holding it. It doesn’t hurt you. Just a bite will hold you until you meet Adam. Just one bite.”

I wanted to scream, but I was not given permission, only to stand with her. 
She nibbled at the fruit.
Instantly it changed her. An awareness came to her and her eyes widened. She tried to cover herself.
The serpent dropped from her shoulders and slunk away, as if it had done what it wanted.
I could only hang my head, as if I too had tasted the fruit.

When Adam approached, it was too late.

Eve’s entire demeanor changed. Instead of looking like a child of God, she looked—like a daughter of the devil. 
She fidgeted, hiding the fruit behind her back.

“What’s wrong?” Adam demanded.
She looked down afraid in his presence.
This fear was new. There had been nothing to fear before. What had this fruit done to her?
Adam grabbed her and held onto her so she wouldn’t dart away, for she looked as if she would.
“This beautiful creature—its eyes, like clear pools, drew me to see within its soul.”
I looked for the serpent whom I now knew was used by Lucifer. I wanted to trampled his head. It was nowhere to be seen.

“This creature—” she began again,  “picked the fruit, then dropped it. I only caught it. I couldn’t let it drop on the ground.” 
She gazed at Adam, wishing him to understand. “Try it, Adam. It’s not just a fruit for your body. It changes how you see the world.” She held the fruit to his lips.
Some of its juice dripped down her fingers onto his lips.
He licked them, his eyes on hers.
I sensed his struggle. 
He understood the rule. He was not to eat it. 
I could feel his indecision. 
Adam wanted to obey God. His voice broke as he asked, “Didn’t I explain the rule? God told us not to eat it.”
Her eyes fell from his. When she looked into his eyes again, they were filled with tears.
She had never cried before.
I was sure Adam didn’t know what to do with this, because I sure didn’t.
He reached out to wipe her eyes, “What is it?”
She shook her head. “The serpent had this presence.” She shook her head and covered her face. Her tears falling faster.
Adam held her. “Tell me.”
“When the fruit slipped from its jaws, I just reacted. I caught it. I had already touched it. I had to taste it.”
Adam raised her face to look into his. “There was no harm in touching it. You could have put it down.”
She looked confused. “I thought we weren’t to touch it…”
Adam shook his head. “Just eat of it…so you ate.”
She nodded. “Just a little. See.” She held the fruit up to his lips again. “But it makes me see things I didn’t see before. I don’t know how to explain it. Like I could only see goodness before, but now…I don’t know.”
I cringed.
She had been deceived. 
What more should I have done?
I watched, unable to change anything.
Did man feel guilty she’d been deceived? Hadn’t he explained the rule to her? His face reflected his battle within.
I held my breath. Please, please, please the Creator.
But I could feel the tug, even without a heart.
Adam wanted to be with Eve. 
Eve so beautiful, but knowing. 
Adam, so perfect, yet innocent.
He took the fruit. He held it for a long time and studied Eve.

Finally, he took a bite.

I bowed my head. These were the creatures who talked with God. 
What would this do to His pleasure? 
I didn’t want to see His Face.
I already felt the heartache of God.

I saw what it did to God.
God made man to fellowship with Him.
To praise and please Him.
But God was too good and holy for man to talk with him now.
I was angry with both the man and woman for what they had done.
They had chosen to disobey God’s one rule.
I knew too, what God must do, because of His holiness.
And it would break God’s heart.
Would man even realize what he had done to God?
Like a disobedient child to their parent, the parent hurts more than the child over the discipline.
And discipline He must.

That evening when it was time for man’s walk in the garden with God. I didn’t want to be around. I couldn’t bare the thought of God’s displeasure, nor what He would have to do.
“Where are you, Adam?” God called him by name.
God knew all things. He already knew what man had done, I could see it in His face, but He asked to make man acknowledge His presence.
They hid.
“Where are you, son of God?”
The title made me cringe. How could they be sons of God still?
Adam stepped forward. He wore fig leaves to cover what beauty God had made. The God-given confidence Adam had before, because he was made worthy of God, was shattered. “I heard You and I was afraid because I was naked and hid.” 

They had always been naked. 
But the beauty of their freedom was not realized, until it was destroyed. 
Now they felt shame for it.
The open communion he had with God, not just with words, but with a heart that felt His presence, was gone. That feeling of one-ness, from their gaze at God’s face, was lost. 
In place of his innocence, he now felt uncertainty, indecision, fear, and shame. 
Before eating, he had never been afraid. He had no cause to be afraid. Now he did.
That love for God’s presence was overshadowed by a fear of His holiness.
Instead of the two attributes united to offer God praise, Adam cowered in fear of His justice, unbelieving of His love. 
The contrast made me sick.

What would God do?
God asked, “Who told you, you were naked? Did you eat from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?”
Again He asked questions. Making them acknowledge their responsibility. 
Adam gestured to Eve. “The woman—You gave me. She gave me to eat.”
I could feel my eyes widen at his words. He was created to protect the woman. I had watched over and over how he had stepped into a difficult situation and protected her. Now, he was allowing her to receive punishment he also deserved. What had this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil done to him?
God turned to Eve. “What have you done?”
Eve cowered, unable to stand before His presence. She looked at Adam, I read the hurt he had caused. She had lost her protector. She didn’t know what to say. She looked around. “A creature spoke to me. He made me eat the fruit.”

I could feel myself holding my own breath. What could God do? He was holy and must keep His Word, yet what would happen to the communion He had with man? I already felt the loss and I had only looked from the outside at what they had.

God sighed and called the serpent before Him.
I stood in the circle, an outsider, a witness.
He turned to the creature with resolution. This would not only affect it but all creation with it. “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. I will strike your head and you will strike his heel.”

I watched that beautiful creature fall to its belly and slither away. Gone was its graceful movement. Gone was its stance of a majestic beast. All it had left was to lick the dirt before its face.
Watching him made me lick my dry lips and shiver.
His doom had been sealed.

God made a distinction with creation. He would strike its head…this was no serpent He was speaking with now but Lucifer. He would receive a death blow.
I was happy it would kill him. I gulped…was that wrong? I looked at God’s face. No, not if God willed it.
God said to the woman, “I will intensify your labor pains, you will bear children in anguish. Your desire will be for your husband; yet he will rule over you.”
I gulped, though the punishment would not fall on me. Eve was made to be Adam’s helpmeet. Now she must struggle to perform her purpose. She would covet Adam’s position as leader, yet not be equipped for it. Man and woman would struggle in their relationship.

And to Adam, God said, “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree, the ground is cursed. You will eat by painful labor all your life. It will produce thorns and thistles. You will eat by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust and you will return to dust.”
Adam’s purpose of dominion over the creation would also be effected. Nothing would be right. 
The punishment was just. But hard. 
What was so perfect, right and true, was now so hard and painful.
But God…in His great mercy and love, did not leave it like that.

He made clothing from animal skins.
He took the first life. 
It seemed right. 
He gave life, He could take it away. 
By slaying blood, He clothed them.
The clothes helped cover their shame. But did not remove it.
Their shame went deeper than what could be seen. It touched their soul, their spirit. 
In their previous innocent state, they did not feel self-awareness, they just knew God. Now, they looked at themselves and knew they were unworthy, apart from God.

Adam tried to speak to God several times, but didn’t. 
I wondered if he couldn’t find the words now. 
There was a chasm between them, where once they felt as one to talk with God about anything. Now they approached Him with hesitation and uncertainty.
God had not changed.
It was that tree. I wanted to take a hatchet and cut it down. How did knowing good and evil change so much? 

Knowing evil made them fear, made them unworthy, made them shrink from God. 
What I wouldn’t do to take evil away! I hated seeing them want to talk to God, yet hesitate.
But more than that, the pleasure they brought to God was gone.
God had lost His smile.

God was still complete. For He is God and complete in Himself. 
But the pleasure man had given Him was lost. 
Man paid for his sin. He paid every time he wanted to speak with his Creator, but couldn’t. 
That was most painful to see.
God saw it, too. He spoke to Himself. “Since man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not eat the Tree of Life and live forever in his fallen state.” 
God drove man out of the Garden which He had made for them to keep.
He placed one of us with a flaming sword by the east of the Garden to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
Instead of worshipping our God, this angel kept man away from a tree God meant for good. 
And man could no longer approach God.

All creation would now carry this evil.
If only we could just obey God and enjoy Him forever.
But even as I listened to the judgment, I felt a stirring of something more in His plan. Something that would bring back God’s smile. He could not allow evil to reign forever. For He was good. 

Hidden in the curse was a promise of redemption. He had promised victory, not against the creature who had been the vessel of Lucifer, but against Lucifer, who thought he could rise above God and destroy the man God had made.
Even though Lucifer would bruise man’s heel, God would crush Lucifer’s head through man. 
God would win.
I had no doubt before. I did not doubt now.
God had a plan.
God did not send Adam away without hope.
He promised a Savior Who would restore that relationship once more.

As God watched man leave the Garden, nothing could have hurt Him more, or so I thought at the time.
As man walked from the presence of God that day, he took the image of God with him, but it was marred, unclear, hazy.
Man would no more seek to bring God glory, but look for ways he could be glorified instead.
Adam’s backward glance was not of repentance, but of remorse.

History continued, for time was created.
Man did what was right in his own eyes and did not acknowledge God.
It was no surprise—Not to God.
I couldn’t understand.
What was it so hard about obeying God?
His commands were not odious.
And His pleasure worthwhile.

Though there were many men, Enoch caught God’s eye.
And no wonder. For Enoch didn’t look at the world through his own eyes, but sought to see how God saw the world. He changed what he did to please God.
And God was pleased. 
One day, God just took him from earth to live with Him.

Noah was another man, who walked with God.
But the world around him wearied God.
By His own words, “He regretted making them.” (Genesis 6:6-7.)
Our heavenly host tried to remind man of Who God was, but they would not listen. They listened to our Enemy, as Lucifer and his fallen were now called. They desired nothing of God.
How God grieved He had made man.
No wonder they grieved God.
They were made for HIM!

Watching from heaven, as God poured out the rain, I wondered how water could wash away all the evil man had imagined. 
When the waters rose and the fountains of the deep broke open, I was glad I had chosen to obey. 
Not that water would change Lucifer—he rejoiced—he had eliminated man. But his plans for man’s total destruction would never come true. 
God intervened and spared one man, Noah, and his family, but not because of Noah’s righteousness, but because God showed grace.
Even as God judged mankind, He still watched Noah and did not forget him in the ark.

After the flood, God promised He would never destroy the earth by water again.
Mighty good of Him, as we watched man turn against God as soon as Noah stepped out of that ark.
Lucifer focused all his schemes at the man whom was loved by God.

It didn’t take long before man decided they would show God who they were. They attempted to build a tower to the heavens!
What absurdity!
Some thought they built it as a tower against another flood.
Didn’t they believe God’s promise?
Others surmised they built it to elevate man to the heavens where God lived.
What arrogance and ignorance!
Whatever reason they built it, they weren’t obeying God.
And it wasn’t God they wanted to worship.
How it grieves God to see such worthless dreams and ambitions, when He holds for all the pleasure of His face.
Why choose anything else?
God shook His head, much like a parent of a toddler who must be reprimanded again.
God stepped down to earth to scatter man to the ends of the earth, so they would not unify against His authority again.

I laugh at how He made them obey. Like the mother who must separate her fighting children. God confused their languages. How brilliant!
Can’t talk to each other for sure.

God continued to seek for a man who would listen to Him.
Abraham caught His eye. For he searched for God, like no other.
God drew him away from things that would distract from His purposes. 
God promised His presence, and to make him a nation and a blessing.

Lucifer, jealous again, brought hardship to Abraham.
But Abraham stayed faithful.
And God blessed him.
Abraham’s offspring became a nation set apart to God.

God used this promised nation to shower His blessing He wanted for all mankind.
They should show the world Who He was.
But the Enemy succeeded in turning them away from God.

Why does man get so distracted with things? 
They’re just things—nothing compares to the pleasure of God’s smile.
God sent them to Egypt.
There the Enemy thought he’d destroy them. He put them in bondage. Isn’t that what he always does?
But God heard their cry and sent a savior, Moses, God’s spokesman to the people and to Pharaoh of Who He is.
The Enemy attempted to mimick God’s signs and miracles, but his were a deception—God’s demonstrated His power and control.

When Abraham’s descendants left Egypt, Egypt was destroyed, just like any other place where the Enemy has control.
Must he destroy everything?
When will he realize he cannot win against God?

I watched God step on that mountain to talk with Moses.
What power and glory He showed to man!
The people waited at the bottom of the mountain. Instead of bowing to Him, they made a bull and worshipped it, while Moses spoke to God!
What arrogance!

God gave man His law, not to smother them, but so man would keep his focus on God.
But man didn’t.
And saddened God, though did not surprise Him.

Moses was different from the people.
Moses longed for that communion with God. He begged God to allow him to see Him face to face. 
No man can see God and live.
But God honored Moses’s request by passing His shadow by a cleft where Moses hid.
Moses came away reflecting God’s glory.

How did His people respond?
Did they change their ways and seek God too?
Of course not, they told Moses to wear a veil, because God’s glory shining from his face was too much for them. How sad!
God knew the people would worship Moses’s body when he died.
The Enemy planned for that, too. And fought with Michael, the archangel, when he went to bury Moses’s body.
Wow! Does God know man, or what?

Well, the people needed to be constantly reminded of Who God was, yet turned from Him—over and over again.
Every man did what was right in their own eyes.

I’m an angel, made to give God praise, but I could not please Him as man could. 
It saddened me to see how God missed man’s fellowship. More than a parent who sees his wayward son continue to make bad choices. Longing to help, but knowing they would reject it. 

Again and again, God sent judges to deliver them from their self-caused troubles.

When they asked for a king, like everyone else, Samuel, who was God’s prophet and judge at the time, was crushed. 
Didn’t they see how disrespectful that was to God? 
But God knew they would do it.
He gave them a king and the Enemy brought the bondage of serving a king upon them.
Didn’t their kings lead them into more evil?
But God watched for those who honored Him and blessed them.
What grace!

David was considered great by the people. 
But we saw David as a man after God’s own heart. 
He sought God. And was repentant. His heart was broken before God.
And God was pleased.
God promised David an eternal reign.
All kings afterwards were compared to David, by whether they obeyed or refused to acknowledge God.

Prophets arose, warning of God’s judgment, but people do, what people want to do—regardless of what God warns.
But only because God allows them.

And of course, the Enemy continued to work through man to control him.
Often they killed the prophets, as if man could change the future by killing the one who tells what will happen, instead of the God Who makes it happen. Of course, they could never kill God. Nor silence Him.

The Enemy did get to God through his prophets.
But the Enemy doesn’t understand—the death of God’s man, whom finds favor in His sight, is precious.
For the relationship with God doesn’t end with death, it begins.
We angels watch this mystery and marvel at God’s ways.
They are beyond our understanding.

But I digress from my story.
As the kings continued to disobey, God brought harsher punishment, until like a parent whose patience has run out, God removed them from their promised land.
Still they refused to seek His face.
Oh, there were those who turned back to Him, and remembered Him, even in slavery, like Jeremiah, who lived in a dungeon, telling his people God’s Words, or like Daniel, who was greatly loved by God.

In fact, Daniel kept such an on-going conversation with God that God shared  His future plans with him.
Daniel requested understanding. Because of course, the plans were beyond his comprehension.
God sent an answer, but it was delayed as the Enemy fought the angel keeping him from reaching Daniel.
God told Daniel he didn’t need to understand, just remember that God was in charge.
If only every man would pray to God like Daniel did!
His entire life was spent on his knees.
When the Enemy sought to destroy him by casting him in the lion’s den, God showed Who was in control by protecting him. 
What gratitude and praise came to God as a result—even the pagan king praised God.
Did that anger the Enemy!

There were others. Faithful. Quietly doing what God wanted.
But most men did what they wanted.
And God was silent.

I went about doing what I was supposed to do—praise Him.
I could almost forget that man was meant to do the same thing, only I would catch God watching man, with such longing—not that God needed anything, but that man would BE so much happier if he’d only talk to God!
It’s amazing how a smile from God is all man needs to make him happy, yet he looks everywhere else but God for that happiness.

During this time, I had forgotten the promise God made back at the beginning of time with Adam, of sending a Savior.
I think the Enemy had forgotten too, because man had become so wicked. They thought nothing of God.
But God will not be forgotten.

It seemed in that time of silence, God too made plans. (Though He already had them, since before time began.)
I sensed a twinkle in His eye and lightness in His step, if I can explain God as if He were a person.

Plans in heavens were being made for the special Man—not created but given.
Plans that would change the world forever.
Plans even the Enemy would not anticipate.
Plans to bring man back to his place of fellowship with God.

But with the twinkle in His eye and the lightness in His step, there was also a sadness—that I could not identify until I realized what God had in mind.

God called Gabriel to His throne. 
Gabriel was one of the chief angels.
God was always directing him, but this time it seemed different. 
We all paused in our singing to listen.
It made my wings flutter.
We had watched Zacchariah and his wife, Elizabeth, both righteous and God-fearing, beg God for a child for years. They were now too old, by man’s standards.
God withheld a child, until now. 
Gabriel was to tell Zacchariah of his coming son, John, who would be the forerunner.
I wasn’t sure what that meant, but by God’s excitement, I was excited too.

Not much time after Gabriel returned, God sent him again to give a message to a lowly, God-fearing woman, Mary. Not many messages were given to women, especially after the Enemy had succeeded in seducing Eve.

But Mary was especially chosen by God.
I could hardly believe the message—God would send His only Son to earth as man through this woman.
Things were getting exciting in heaven!
I remembered how much God enjoyed fellowship with man.
Surely, if God walked with man on earth, this would bring God’s smile back!
But I never anticipated the cost to God.

When His Son left heaven, it seemed a part of God left too. Which of course it did.
He was complete and whole and perfect and everywhere—yet longed for communion with His Son. 
Of course, His Son also longed for that communion, and it wasn’t long in His earthly life that Jesus, His Son’s earthly Name, made it known that He missed His Heavenly Father.
But God desired that fellowship with man to be restored.
This was the only way.
I didn’t understand it at the time.
I merely obeyed and delivered messages.
I again, get ahead of my story.

Gabriel had just returned after delivering that message to Mary when God sent him on another. This one to calm Joseph, Mary’s husband-to-be.
Joseph was certainly distraught over rumors by the Enemy about his future wife, Mary—until God sent Gabriel with His instructions. 
Joseph, too, was God-fearing and obeyed God. 
Heaven was cheering for them!

Mary visited Elizabeth, while both waited for their babys’ coming. 
John leaped in the womb over the news of God’s Son coming.
Here was another man who listened and pleased God.
There was rejoicing in heaven over what all this would mean.

Often I don’t pay attention to what’s happening on earth—people are too sinful and it saddens me. Makes it hard for me to worship God. And since I am made to worship God, I must keep my focus. 
But with His Son on earth, everyone’s attention in heaven was on earth, like a good book you can’t put down.
We saw how man shunned, not only Mary but Joseph, for the Babe that she carried. Didn’t God tell man how He would do it, by his prophets? Isaiah foretold a virgin would conceive and bare a Son.
But man wasn’t ready to hear.
Nor without God’s Spirit would they understand.
We could not fully grasp God’s plan either—for He alone is God.
And the Enemy was caught by surprise—for he, like us, does not know everything.

But we watched the unfolding of so many promises God had already told man. I fluttered with excitement at what else would happen.
I’m not sure who was more excited at what was happening on earth—us angels or God. For God’s eye was directed at His Son all the time.
And who could blame Him?

We all felt the loss without the Son here with us.
Like an empty hole that would not be filled.
Not that God was any less God, nor any less complete—it’s difficult to explain the feeling, but just recognize it was there.

The Enemy heard about Gabriel’s messages. He began his own plans to thwart God’s. As if he could!
The Enemy played right into God’s hand.
He caused the ruler to impose taxes requiring all to go to their place of birth. But that was just what God said would happen.
Joseph was not accepted in any caravan. Outcasts they were, because who would believe Mary was a virgin with child? Yet God was with them. 

When they arrived, Bethlehem was crowded. 
No room was made for God.
I bit my lip in righteous anger. Could they not make room for the One Who created them?
When Joseph finally found a stable, I settled down. 
At least the animals would recognize Who stayed with them.

But then a host of us angels were called before God.
It was hard to stand still as we stood before Him to receive our instructions. 
One cannot crowd when you have wings, unless you want to be thrashed with the wings of the one in front of you.
We all wanted to be in the front row. But regardless of where we stood, we could always hear God clearly.
He gave our instructions.
And we were off to earth.
We would travel as a host of angels. We’d never done this before and stayed visible for man to see us. Maybe so the Enemy wouldn’t hinder our message. We’ll never know why.
We came through the darkness of space, creating a light that would go for miles.

I flew near the front. My light pierced the darkness of space. As we entered the earth’s atmosphere, my light became more diffused and less piercing as the light mixed with the molecules of earth’s atmosphere.
We experienced no trouble with those fallen angels.
God had paved the way for our message.
I glanced back at the stars, still twinkling, yet distant in their shine.
We had arrived to give our message. I was in the forefront.
My eyes strained to adjust to the dark ground where shepherds lay with their flocks.

“FEAR NOT, FOR I BRING YOU GREAT TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY….” I continued to tell them of the Son of God Who had come in their midst.

Other angels gathered behind me. The ground was no longer dark but glowed from the light we brought.
The shepherds looked petrified, though I had assured them not to fear.
I guess they weren’t used to seeing angels.
After I gave the message, we couldn’t help staying to sing—we were so excited to be included in God’s special plan.
Once finished, we left.
I looked back to where we’d been.
All was darkness again.
The shepherds were going to see this great wonder we had told them about.

In that lingering glance, I saw a new star. I blinked twice to make sure I’d seen right. A new star and its rays shone on the place where the Son of God lay.
I smiled. 
God would direct those shepherds to the right place.

That new star was noticed by others too. In a far off country, as a result of Daniel’s influence, they had been watching for the Messiah, promised by God to come. They made plans to see this Child Who would be their Messiah.
God would send a few of us to escort them to His Son.
The Enemy would not want word to get out of their presence and their belief of God’s Word, spoken through the prophets.
But God’s Will always triumphs.

When these men from the East came to Israel, King Herod requested their presence. They asked where the King should be born.
Herod petitioned the wise men to return after finding the Child, so he could worship too. He directed them by his scribes to Bethlehem.
I don’t understand why His own people weren’t looking for the Christ-child, when they had all the signs pointing to His coming!

The wise men followed the star which led them to the Child.
They presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They recognized the royalty and splendor Who had come to earth!
God sent them a dream by one of us, instructing them to leave the country a different way, not telling King Herod where they had found the King.The Enemy incited King Herod to kill every child two and under in Bethlehem to ensure God’s Son’s death. Little did the Enemy know Gabriel had already told Joseph to flee to Egypt. 
God’s Son was beyond the Enemy’s reach.

This story, began before the beginning of time, has come to a break. For this time of year is set aside by man to remember God’s Son coming to earth. 
We angels do not know how this will bring man to God, but we know by His own Word that He will.
God desires all man to come into fellowship with Him. But this is only possible through sending His Son.

We wait and watch to see how this will work.
But we have waited throughout all time, we can surely wait for the lifetime of His Son on earth, can’t we?
But I hope God’s plan will bring back that smile on God’s face—not only to have His Son return, but more than that, His special creation, man, be brought into communion with Him again.

The Enemy tries to thwart God’s plan but he cannot win, although he thinks he can. 
God’s communion with man will be restored. 
Sweet communion.
Sweet victory. 

I sing for joy even now as I watch and wait.
I feel like my story is just begun, for in some ways, it has. Because just having God’s Son on earth merely shows how much man has fallen from communion with God. 
His Son stands in stark contrast to all those around Him. 
No one wants Mary and Joseph around them, let alone, God’s sinless, perfect Son!
Man is blinded by the Enemy, so far removed from communion with God, his own desires keeps him from seeing God.

If I were God, I would turn around and come home.
But alas, God’s love for His fallen man extends way beyond what I could give.
God’s not surprised by how man treats His Son.
And as the story unfolds, the treatment gets worse.
Until, like the prophets, man kills God’s Son.
Lucifer rejoices in his victory.
But I get ahead of the story.
I must stop at God’s Son’s birth.
You must wait for the full story. 

Let me give you a hint.
God wins. (No surprise there.)
The Enemy loses. 
God’s Son returns to heaven where He is glorified.
His mission accomplished. His plan for redemption complete.
God’s Son has made it possible for man to enter before God’s throne complete, whole, and sinless.
Wow! What cause for singing!
What cause for praise, not just by us angels, but by all creation, especially man!

If only the Enemy’s blindness wouldn’t penetrate man’s hearts.
If only man’s own selfish desires wouldn’t hinder his acknowledgement of his need for God.
Man must fall before God in repentance for God to restore fellowship.
The only way man can please God.
And be complete, whole, happy.

But I must stop this story. For this is just Christmas—the Coming of God’s Son to earth.
I must wait to tell how Jesus completes His work.

TO BE CONTINUED. See Part 2 here.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

Receive weekly articles by giving your email address below: