This has been a week of heavy-heartedness. We have many loved ones who are dealing with difficult circumstances, so much of it beyond their control, and the heartbreak my husband and I have been feeling for them is hard to put into words. As natural problem-solvers, we wish we could swoop in and save our family and friends from their pain and make it all right again, but unfortunately that’s not how it works, and we feel helpless. So we do what we can do: we visit, we call, we offer support and provision in areas where possible, and we pray. We pray hard and long for understanding of His plan and that His good and perfect will be done. We pray the big prayers – for miracles, healing, peace, comfort, and restoration. And we trust that God is hearing us and will answer us in His time and way.
As much as I love and enjoy the holiday season, December is notorious for being a month of sad and bad news on this end. I don’t know why – but it seems there are more diagnoses, dire circumstances, and death this time of year. I don’t mean to sound negative, I’m simply stating facts based on the past few years. In a season that it supposed to be hopeful and joyful, it can be hard to feel and act in accordance with the holiday spirit when all this “stuff” starts to build up.
We are currently in the season of Advent – the period of eagerly awaiting, anticipating, and hoping for the arrival of our Savior, Jesus Christ who comes “to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).” As I search the concordance’s meaning of this passage, I am reminded that the word “lost” refers to those who are not only far and alienated from God, but also those who are suffering, heartbroken, and feeling the pain of forfeit as the world makes its strong attempt to consume us in its darkness. Suddenly, I resonate with this passage even more, especially in the face of this week. Though I know God personally, I am still a flesh and blood being who doubts, worries, fears, gets anxious and wallows in grief at times. And the hours, the days, and the weeks can feel long and the pain without end.
BUT… There. Is. Hope.
“Surely the day is coming… (Malachi 4:1)” I read the first three verses of Malachi 4 this morning and my soul takes pause at the words. I breathe out a sigh of relief. Yes. Jesus did come. He lived. He died. He rose again. For me. For you. So that we can have fellowship with God the Father while here on earth and into eternity. So that we can be made clean, new, holy, and whole by His Spirit. So that we can partake of His blessings and the abundant life. This is the promise we wait to be fulfilled by the person of Jesus who arrived to this earth as a baby lying in a humble manger. The day has come, it is coming.
This gives us comfort in the midst of our sadness this week. As I think about all that’s going on, I’m reminded that the world is an imperfect place full of imperfect situations and people. What our family and friends, as well as numerous others across the globe, are experiencing demonstrate the need and proof to me of just how much we do need a Savior. Of just how much we all are hoping and praying and waiting on the best for ourselves, our families, our friends, and our lives altogether. All of “the best” is summed up in Jesus and this is what Advent celebrates – that He is coming and He loves us and He will take care of us – our hearts, our souls, our minds, and our strength – in all of our mess.
Hallelujah and Amen.