Wednesday, December 3, 2014

hope

Ultimately the season of Advent is a season of hope.  Hope that God will somehow show up amidst all of the chaos and turmoil and pain of this world.  And after watching a significant amount of pain in the last few weeks in the lives of several different friends, I am coming to believe that where we perceive God to be in the midst of our chaos and pain is a very significant thing.  It determines so much about our process of healing, or at least it has for me.  Because in order to heal us, Jesus needs to get his hands on us.  In order for us to find ourselves in his healing embrace, to hear his words of deep affection, and to allow his hands to tenderly mend our broken hearts, we have to be willing and open for that to occur.  For the most part, Jesus never healed anyone, or put his hands upon them, without some amount of willingness and openness from their side.  And this willingness and openness is largely determined by where we think God is in the midst of our pain.  Or, in other words, how we see him. 

If we believe him to be distant or disinterested, much less the source and cause of our pain to begin with, we are unlikely to ever seek his healing touch.  In that case we are more likely to feel abandoned or betrayed, which becomes a source of anger and bitterness.  But if we are able to believe that God is somehow mysteriously and wonderfully with us in the midst of our pain, it is a different story altogether.  Then we are likely to have a deep sense of compassion from him and companionship with him.  We are likely to realize that since he has experienced the depths of pain himself, he is wonderfully able to understand ours, and to truly be able to comfort us in the midst of it. 

Thus, the season of Advent stands at the mysterious intersection of groaning and hope.  When we stand with Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, seeing his tears and hearing his groans, we are likely to see the tears in his eyes and hear the groans of his heart over our pain as well.  And then we can rest assured that, even in the midst of our pain, we are both deeply known and deeply loved...and deeply understood.  I don't know about you, but that gives birth to hope deep within me.  Hope that I can, indeed, make it through this, whatever this may be.  Hope that I am not alone to navigate it, but somehow more connected with him than I've ever been--more fertile to whatever he wants to plant within me and more receptive to the movement of his Spirit.  Hope that somehow, someday I will be able to live again, not just surviving, but thriving because of the beauty he was able to bring out of my ashes.  Now that's hope!  Come, Lord Jesus!


"The purpose of Advent is to make us pregnant with hope." ~The Work of the People



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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