During this Advent season I plan to re-post pieces I’ve written in over the years. I first published this one on December 5, 2012.
“How can You be so content when things are so broken and messy?” I asked the Lord one day last week.
As I was praying that morning, I was picturing myself “seated …with him in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6). Scripture tells me that I am currently there with Him, in these “heavenly realms,” in these “heavenly places”; it encourages me to set my mind “on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). So, as I prayed, I tried to do that. I tried to be with Him where He is and to see things from His point of view.
His answer was simple: “I know the end from the beginning, Child. You only see what is going on right now, in this moment. But I know how the story turns out. It has a good ending. That is why I can be so content.”
I pondered His words for a few days. Then on Sunday I went to church where we lit the first Advent candle—the candle of Hope. We sang “O come, O come, Emmanuel , and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.” I thought of the broken situations I am praying about, trying to view them in the context of Emmanuel who will come and make them all right. In the context of God who sees the end from the beginning and tells me it ends well. Hope.
That evening I read in my prayer book (Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year) the advent prayer for the week: “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
“Okay, Lord, I get it, I think. You are at work. You are redeeming and restoring. That’s what your coming is all about! My part is to wait. And trust. And, instead of letting the darkness take me out, to hope. So, Jesus, as much as Israel needed You 2,000 years ago, I need You, we need You! Now! “Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight!”
And somewhere in my spirit, I heard God’s answer: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Child of Mine. That is how I can be so content. Rest in Me, little one. Wait on Me. Hope in Me. I am coming to you.”
And my soul replied, “Come Lord Jesus!”