Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope

We did our Christmas decorating yesterday and soaked in the boys excitement. The joyful anticipation they express inspires me. One of their favorite traditions is our advent calendar, taking turns to place an item on the nativity scene each morning. Jacob got to go first today, placing the star on the scene...a glimmer of hope.

I've been doing the daily advent readings we got at church this past Sunday. The verse for today is Romans 8:18-27. It talks about how creation is groaning and eagerly awaiting what is to come, similar to a pregnant woman experiencing labor pains. What an interesting analogy. Pregnancy, like life, is not always pleasant. There are hardships such as being uncomfortable, leg cramps, swelling, weight gain, nerve pain, nausea, vomiting, being poked with needles and forced to drink liquids for testing, not to mention childbirth itself. But what helps us endure those things is the hope of that little life growing inside...the hope of what is to come. And once that baby has come into the world eventually the negative memories fade. That must be true since many of us choose to go through the whole process again! The end result is more wonderful than anything we could have imagined. Life is meant to be lived in that same state of mind. We can endure our trials because we have hope for what the future will bring...a future so great we can not even comprehend it.

I find that with pregnancy it is easier to have hope because we know when the birth will come. We know when things will be set right again. But in life we don't. We don't know when our problems will be resolved, when Christ will return, or when we will be taken to heaven (I pray that you know that is your destination). So we are left to trust in the fact that God knows and will strengthen and refine us so we will be prepared for that time, which eventually will come.

Why are downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.
-Psalms 42:11

May this Christmas season fill you with hope and the joyful anticipation of what is to come.

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