Tonight is the first night of Advent. I am expectant. Eager.
I desperately want to leave 2015 in peace. The peace that comes with coming face to face with the Savior. I want to end this year communing with the Lord.
So often the holidays and the impending New Year bring desperation instead of sincere hope. We hope to do better in life; in health, finances, relationships, but it a weak hope that cries out in our souls imagining the “what ifs…” that could change our current disappointments. But our hope, “has feathers,” so to speak and often takes flight when overcome by life.
Mary Lou Redding describes this kind of hope as “a vague anemic desire with no teeth in it and little chance of becoming reality.”
But Advent changes this.
Advent invites us to become intentional in our hope…in our waiting…and in our desperation. We are invited to join in the hope of creation, hope of salvation, and the hope of eternity that has been shared by the saints for over 2000 years. We become one with the song of expectation sung around the throne of our Savior.
And I need this invitation. By products of winter rain, prescriptions and stress have sent me into a season of sadness. Not entirely unexpected, but difficult to fight in my current station.
It has caused me to neglect and fail to remain grateful for all I have been given. I have skirted the abyss, and if I am not careful I will enter 2016 in a desperate fight for survival.
In this space, my desire is to accept the invitation and immerse myself in an intentional Christmas. To cover myself and my family with the Lord’s love and mercy; enough to accept with purpose and joy whatever 2016 may hold.
The Lord knows the weighty questions, fears, hopes and dreams that I most need His hand on before I even ask. He knows my ruin amidst a broken world.
And I come to Him. Waiting. Hoping, with a real hope. I am cultivating a “robust” faith that something will happen this season. Not to have all my questions answered. Not to have Him grant me some great mercy, but to see His face and draw closer to His heart.
“To hope means we cannot be completely sure. There are not guarantees. Coming to God with a mixture of hope and excitement is normal and human. We may even experience less welcome feelings alongside hope, such as anxiety, fear, and distrust. But those feelings are acceptable. God welcomes us with whatever degree and quality of hope possible for us. Even if the hope is simply an inexpressible desire for something more, it has power, its power grows as we nurture the hope in God’s presence.”
~Mary Lou Redding, While We Wait; Living the Questions of Advent
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.