Hello, People! It’s Advent!
This beautiful, expectant season before Christmas! I call it beautiful because it is always filled with so many expectations, mostly joyful. This is the time when people actively plan for Christmas. It is the time when your previous plans are reviewed and revised and you start execution. It’s time for shopping (which I love), especially when you have money to buy meaningful gifts for people. It is also the time for several happy celebrations, like weddings. A lot of weddings take place in December. Birthday celebrations, product launches, year-end parties, Christmas parties and so on. Such a happy season!
I am reminded that it might not be such a happy time for a lot of people, especially if the focus is on the things that have not happened this year. If the focus is on dashed hopes and forfeited opportunities. If the focus is on plans that fell through or monies lost. If the focus is on grief or the loss of loved ones. If the focus is on failed expectations, then it will be very difficult to rejoice. It will be very difficult to see beyond the grey sky to see the shining light.
Can I say that regardless of how this year turned out, we can still rejoice? Yes, we can. Because it’s not over until it’s over. Even in the dying days of this year, God can still show up for us. Even till the very last moment of the year. It is doubly reassuring that God is not limited by time, such that, even in the New Year, He can still do everything that we waited for in 2019 and did not receive. With Him, nothing is too difficult. With Him, all things are possible. All things.
Sometimes we limit God by our experience of Him. We say to ourselves, “Yes He can”. But in our experience, we have not experienced such acts yet, so we think maybe He will not for us. But He still can. We have not yet known all there is to know of Him. We have not yet experienced all there is of Him. He lives to show us much more of Himself on an ongoing basis if we will only believe and hold on to Him.
Abraham waited for twenty-five years before God’s promise of a child came through and he had Isaac. All the while, he watched as his body aged; as Sarah also aged before his eyes. The Ishmael experiment did not turn out right, as God said Ishmael was not the child of promise. Abraham waited. Sarah did too. Each of them hoping against hope. I cannot imagine how they survived year after year, each year wondering, ‘Will this be the year that God will do it?’ And each time the year ended without that promise fulfilled, they would get themselves together and reinforce their hope and trust in God. They would look at each other and conclude that ‘Faithful is He who promised, who will also do it.’ To have done this for twenty-five years!
Recall Elijah who was interceding for rain and kept sending his servant back to check. Six times the servant came back with a negative report. Until the seventh time. Imagine how they both must have felt. The servant who kept going back and forth would imagine that his boss was not okay. ‘Why does he keep telling me to go back to check? There’s nothing up there!’ Imagine Elijah crying out to God, ‘Father, you told me there would be rain. Send the rain, Lord. Let me see the cloud of rain!’
What issue has you agitatedly calling out to God like that? ‘Father, 2019 has all but ended and I’m still waiting! I’m still waiting, Lord. Still waiting. Still hoping. Still believing. Where are you? Hear me, Lord. Remember me, Lord.’
Believe me, when I say, as I’m writing this, I believe He will hear me as well as you. I need last-minute miracles too! I need Him to remember me and remember me for good. To remember my tears and my prayers this year and to be merciful to me and crown my year with His goodness. It’s not over until it’s over, and when it’s over, it is still not over because tomorrow is another day. As long as we have life, we will not stop believing and we will not stop hoping. We will persevere in our faith until we receive the promise. We will imitate those who through faith and patience obtained the promise! We will stand strong, holding on to our faith with patience.
So, Advent is a good time to reflect positively on the year that is rounding up and give thanks to God for life, and His workings in our lives. As He takes us on the journey of our lives and we climb the hills and descend the valleys, we know that He is the Orchestrator and the Shepherd, guiding us on the way to go. We will not be missing. We will not be late. We will not miss out on anything good. He will get us there and on time.
Rejoice! It is the season to be merry. The Son of God has come to give us life, love, joy, peace and everything else that we need for life and living.
Rejoice, the Lord is coming!