There is a difference between hoping in the Lord and hoping that He answers our prayers the way we tell Him to. Hope in the Lord means that we trust Him to give us and others what we need when we need it. We hope in Him for who He is, not just for what we can give us. Hope in the Lord says “I still trust you with my life even when I don’t get what I want.”
One of the best journeys we can take in 2015 is the journey towards stillness with God. Stillness with God allows us to lay aside our doing and allows His presence to simply love us and to invade our awareness with that love. In stillness we learn to lay hold of His love and we learn to carry that constant awareness of His presence with us comfortably and effortlessly wherever we go, whatever we do and whoever we are with. Stillness with God does not just happen. Like all journeys it takes some planning to set aside personal time. Learning to still the soul is one of the cheapest journeys you can take, yet it has one of the richest yields in terms of destination. Why not take an intentional journey this year and embark on a pilgrimage of the heart?
Advent reminds us that the gap of time between what we are hoping for and the time in which in which we actually receive it is a valuable process. The act of receiving involves the process of obtaining and often the process of waiting. In terms of character devlopment, how we wait is just as important as how we obtain. Both take grace but somehow in the satisfaction of obtaining, we can forget the shortcomings of how we waited. Christmas has a way of challenging us in the area of waiting on so many levels. Have we been frustrated, impatient and full of complaints? Lord, give us the grace to be graceful waiters and teach us how to wait well. Amen.
“…They (the wise men) went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. (Matt. 2: 9,10) How could a star bring such joy? Because it led to the place where they found the King. Following that star of light was a journey and a pathway that led to hope and joy and life. Not all stars lead to life and not all journeys we follow are life-giving. We need to honestly ask ourselves what we are following because what we are following determines what lies at the end of our journey. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 16:25), and following nothing will lead to nothing. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) What are you following?
Israel waited centuries for the Saviour to come, but only a handful of people actually found Him around the time of his birth. They left what they were doing and set out to meet the One who came. But most missed Him. Advent reminds us not to miss Him. It beckons us to leave our “busy doing” in order to prepare and make space for Him in our lives. We light the candles, and widely open the door of our hearts. He still comes.
He is already the King of a real kingdom that is not of this earth. If He is our king, then we are people of his kingdom and kingdom people. Lord increase your kingship in our hearts that we may live more according to your kingdom and less like the world while we are on this earth. Grant us wisdom, grace and courage to bring your kingdom in to where the world touches us, to our spheres, and to the places where your kingdom is not yet. Thy kingdom come. He reigns and He will reign. Amen.
There is so much in the Lord that we can be truly thankful for, yet so much in the world that is truly vexing and grievous. Joy and sorrow, life and death – the great juxtaposition of the human soul. But through it all, we can hold fast and give thanks for this hope; Jesus Christ remains the life of our life. Holy Spirit continues to illumine and regenerate human hearts. And God the Father is good, his mercy is everlasting and his truth endures to all generations.