Friday, December 02, 2016

Advent and Chronic Pain

Advent. It means "the arrival of a notable thing, person, or event." In the Christian calendar, it is the beginning of the Christian year, the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus. 

Advent is waiting. We spend this time knowing that we need a Savior and knowing that God has promised a Messiah, but he hasn't yet come. But, he will.

I grew up in a non-liturgical church, so we didn't observe Advent. Right after Thanksgiving, we were in full Christmas mode. And I still enjoy my Christmas tree and lights and Nativity sets.

But, I also understand the need to be still and wait. To remember how much I need Jesus. To feel the brokenness and pray for healing. 

It's the time of year to remember the promises that God made about his coming Messiah.  

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

I realized today how much Advent is like having chronic pain. I'm waiting. Always waiting. I know that in the end, I'll be pain-free. God will either heal me or take me to heaven, but I have to live this life that I have right now.

So I wait and I pray, like the people of Israel did for those many years. I read the words of the prophets that they heard or that they heard read in the synagogues. "The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Yes. God will do this. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but He will.

What are you waiting for this Advent? Jesus is right beside you and ready to walk this life with you. He may not choose to physically heal you right now, but he'll walk through whatever is hurting you right now right with you. All he asks is  that you trust him.

Over these next few weeks, read your Bible, particularly the stories of the birth of Jesus and the prophecies that they reference. Anticipate the arrival of the Savior. Pray for Jesus to have a real impact on your life this Christmas.



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