It’s always amazing to me to look back and see how much things change between the days and weeks and years before you even look up and notice. I’m sure those of you with kids can speak more to this than I can. There are many things I could write about and maybe one day I will, or maybe I won’t but just thought today I’d share this essay that really really spoke to me- in fact on the day I got this I wanted to call them up and tell them it really wasn’t nice to be spying on me even if it was to find out EXACTLY what I needed to hear that day 🙂 It’s from a daily email I get from the Ravi Zacharias Ministry called “A Slice of Infinitiy” and if you like it they are usually just this good every day so go to their website and sign up- it’s definitely NOT one of those I sign up for and never read. Anyway…praying blessings of peace and love on each of you this advent season and as always grateful for you all.
Season of Waiting
We are in the midst of Advent, the season of waiting. The problem is that I’m not very good at waiting. Even waiting for the bus in the cold can be difficult, so when it comes to things that are deep and important—healing for the broken parts of my life and for the people I love, peace and goodness on the earth, freedom from suffering—I really hate waiting. I want them now.
But, you know, when I think of all the beautiful, liberating things God has done in history, it is obvious that none of them have come quickly or easily or without a cost.
Abraham and Sarah had to wait until they were very old for the son that had been promised. They had tried everything they knew to fix it themselves and force the promise to come true. But it wasn’t until every human hope had been extinguished and all they could do was wait that God stepped in to do the impossible.
God’s people were in slavery over four hundred years before they were set free. Four hundred
years is a long time, and I imagine that any time in this four hundred years it would have been easy to call the faithfulness of God into question and to believe that their slavery was forever. But it wasn’t.
Even after they were freed and were given the Promised Land, the people waited through many exiles and suffering for the one who was promised, who was supposed to bring God’s peace and justice to earth. God’s promise was that things would not always be the way they were. But there was tension between what was promised and the reality in which they lived. They had to live with that tension, waiting.
But we live with that tension too. The theme of the songs God’s messengers sang in the sky at Jesus’s birth was peace on earth, goodwill to all people. Yet when we look at our world, peace is not the reality, but war, violence, terrorism, destruction, and heartache. As U2 sings, “Jesus the song you wrote, the words are sticking in my throat, Peace on earth. We hear it
every Christmastime, but hope and history won’t rhyme.”
We wait. Perhaps some of us are not really waiting with any sense of expectation. Perhaps we do not believe that things could ever be different than they are now. Perhaps like Abraham and Sarah we have given every effort to try to fix things ourselves and have found that we have failed. If so, then we need to be reminded that this God speaks and acts in the very places that seem so dark that no human initiative or power can do anything. He spoke into a stable in Bethlehem so many years ago, but this child Jesus is still the hope of the world. They called him Emmanuel, God with us. He came to be with us in our weakness, our sorrow, with us in despair and death and brokenness, with us in betrayal and abandonment. There is no part of human experience that is left untouched by God’s becoming human. And there is no part of human experience that cannot be redeemed and healed and saved by Him.
But like every worthwhile thing in life, this does not come quickly or easily or without a cost. So, together may we learn to wait. May we learn to hope. May we learn to turn to the God who did not remain distant or remote from our situation but stepped right into it, to bring healing from the inside out.
Rachel Tulloch is a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Toronto, Canada.