Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Strange Advent

I was talking last week with a younger brother-in-the-Lord who was about to begin being treated for neuroLyme.  At the end of his email, he stated "What a strange Advent this will be."

It reminded me of a 'strange Advent', for me it was last year.  I was in the throes of treatment, very much incapacitated-  trying to fill the dishwasher would send me into a flood, not of dishwater, but tears!  The task of loading the dishwasher was so beyond me physically and mentally- I would begin teenage son then as gently as he could would say, "Mom, just go to bed..."  

The house was decorate, cookies my family.  It wasn't the same, it wasn't as much... But I will say that that Advent season produced in my an acuity like I'd never before experienced as to where I was placing my Expectant Hope at Christmas.   I was amazed.

There was less and less in which I could participate- not the shopping, the baking, the cooking, decorating, the gift shopping, wrapping, visiting, caroling, services at best I might get to observe, usually from the couch, or a propped position...  

It grieved me so not to be taking part in all the things that 'made it Christmas' to me- all the family traditions, personal traditions....Yes, all for Jesus-- so I'd thought.  

But Lyme was giving me a greater gift that Christmas.  Lyme was stripping away pretense after pretense that I'd built around Christmas...  Over and over I'd catch myself mumbling- 'but I'd hoped for....but I'd hoped to...'- usually with a pitiful tear, a grieving heart.... 

...then the gift that Lyme brought began to shine through all the losses- and became my greatest gain-- Indeed, Christmas was about Jesus, His coming--- not only that, but the celebration that He Came!  It was in Him, and Him alone that I was to place my hope!  For the first time in my life as a Believer, the greatest reality of His presence during this time of year became clear... 

Yes, I've watched many a Hallmark movie about the 'real meaning of Christmas'- which is usually 'love'-  but for me, this experience- was something deeper.  

Yes, Love had Come Down--- In fact the reality of His presence was ever becoming more dear and real....but now I was beginning to grasp the reality of   Him BEING that in whom I could confidently place all my expectations, my hopes.... 

In fact: He IS all Hope and the Only One In Whom We Can Place our Expectations.  He is Peace, He is Joy, He is Hope....

Last year for me was indeed one of those 'Strange Advents'- but it turned out to be one of the richest and dearest, as the LORD met with me and showed me He is Everything, and worthy of expectation and hope!

What are you waiting for this Advent season? 

What are you hoping for this Christmastime?

May you find Our King, Our Saviour, born into lowly estate- laid in a cave/barn manger...

the One Came to Dwell Amoung us- to know our humanity- and yet still be fully God...

This One who knew no sin- yet endured on our behalf- to understand what you are going through--

and in obedience, with joy set before Him, one day died on that cross to bear our sin, and make a way for us unto salvation through our trust in what He did for us----

What Child Is this?  What kind of King?

May this Advent time find you with great expectations- rightly placed in Our Lord- Jesus.  No matter what life circumstance you may be will then experience a very merry Christmas-

(For a short time you can get a free download of "God Is In The Manger", by Dietrich Bonhoeffer-  Advent Notes he wrote during his own Strange Advent .  )


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