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The Magi Traveled in Faith

God grew my faith every time we moved on military orders, also known as a PCS. Orders and timelines change frequently. Movers can be outstanding or terrible. Change causes us to grow in our faith. I met a wonderful spouse at our first duty station who told me the key to every military move. 

“Only take what you are okay with losing and hold everything with open hands.” 

She learned this firsthand as all their household goods were swept off the ship, moving them from Europe back to the United States. She had to remember the contents of every box and when they bought each item so they could file a claim with the shipping company. What amazed me most was that she was not bitter or angry. Instead, she allowed God to grow her faith in Him through this trial.

I took her advice to heart. Anything super special, like the clock my dad made me, did not move with us. My mother kept it until we stopped moving. “Hold everything with open hands” challenged me more because it requires faith. Military famlies learn we  must believe God has a plan for everything that happens to our belongings and trust Him to get everything from one place to another or provide something better. Faith, to move my mountains of doubts in the military system.

God uses moving to grow my faith. When we leave one place for another, I have to trust He will bring us a new home and provide friends for me and my family. I even have to trust Him with our travel plans. They rarely look how I plan, but in hindsight, I can see God moving in every area to prepare the way for us and grow our faith.

The first candle of the Advent wreath represents the Prophets and is called the Hope candle. The second candle represents the Magi and is called the Faith Candle. The second candle increases the light on the wreath. Our faith grows not only as we proceed towards Christmas Day but also as we move through every day with faith in God’s goodness.

The Magi traveled to find Jesus on faith. They left their lands and traveled to find him when they saw the star in the sky. Their faith pulled them onwards to find and worship the King of Kings. 

As they searched, they stopped to see Herod, alerting the nefarious king of Jesus’ birth. Before they continued on their path, Herod ordered them to change their plans and return to tell him where he could find Jesus. Their travels fulfilled ancient prophecy and set into motion events beyond their ability to comprehend.

We don’t know where they came from or how many there were. We know they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They met Jesus sometime after His birth and before His second birthday. Most remarkable of all, they had faith to find and worship Him. 

The second candle we light to remember the Magi is counterclockwise from the first candle towards the pink candle. Just as we go the opposite way around the wreath to differentiate our Advent practices from pagan rituals, the Magi defied Herod’s order and amended their travel plans to avoid another meeting with the king. 

Likewise, our faith reminds us to stand out and be different, to go against the grain, to be believers.

As the prophets waited in hope for the Messiah, we need to follow the example of the Magi and live our lives by faith.

Scriptures to meditate on while we grow in our faith:

Matt 2:1-12

Micah 5:2, 4 

Luke 2:1-7 

Luke 1:26-33

Hymns to sing with your family:

We Three Kings

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Come All Ye Faithful

This blog is also featured on Jennifer's website in her series Advent Matters. You can enjoy more of Jennifer's insights further on her website's blog.

Jennifer Wake is the 2023 AFI Fort Belvoir Spouse of the Year. She is an Army wife, mother of 3 grown children, teacher, and writer. She is a chemistry/physics teacher by trade, an Accredited Financial Counselor by interest, and a writer/speaker of God’s Word by His calling. She is married to an Army Chaplain and has served in chapels in various locations, from Germany to the Mojave Desert. Over the past 25 years, she has made a home for the Wakes 14 times and persevered through multiple deployments. God has called her to mentor military spouses, especially chaplain spouses who serve sacrificially. Her passions include writing books and blogs, developing Bible training material, networking with women in the military, and professional quilting. She volunteers with Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) wherever she is stationed and with Planting Roots, a ministry for military women by military women. She resides in Springfield, VA, with her wonderful husband and dog and enjoys her quilting room.

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