The tree is up. The front porch has lights. And 3 out of 4 Advent candles are on the table.
Advent has meant more and more to me over the years. It really is a gift from God that I treasure.
It started when Ryland was born. 10 years ago (almost 11). Having a Christmas baby during a very stressful and sad time in my life was like a behind the scenes peak for me at the wonder of the Incarnation of Christ. God used it like that anyway. He really gave me eyes to see what a wonder it is that Christ was born as a baby through Mary.
When your circumstance seem impossibly hard and you can't see how this could possibly line up with God's plans and purposes and He breaks through with a gift of unexpected joy, the circumstances- painful as they are- fade in the light of hope.
Today's reading in the Jesse Tree Advent devotional was from Genesis. About how God promised Abraham decedents that outnumbered the stars and he looked at his elderly wife and felt the aches in his 100 year old knees and chose to believe God. And when the time came, God did what he said he would do. He always does.
The question is, do I believe God's promises? There are a lot of them. How about this one:
So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. - 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.ALL! All things are yours?! The world? Life? Death?
This is why I don't have to have this or that. I don't have to have the perfect church or the perfect marriage or the perfect kids or house or job or circumstance. All things are mine! I belong to Christ. Believing that promise will carry me through the impossibilities I face. Just like it carried Abraham through the impossibilities he faced.
God does what he says he will do. Always.