Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advent Reflections: December 7


“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
   and out of Egypt I called my son.”
Hosea 11:1


For just a moment, imagine a time in life when you faced a particularly difficult situation. Think about that situation and all of the details that surrounded it. Maybe you felt fear. Maybe you felt anger. You may have felt frustrated and helplessness to change your situation. And maybe you found your faith difficult to cling to.

Now imagine the moment that you realized that things were finally going to change and that your circumstances were turning a corner for the good. Can you remember the overwhelming peace that you felt in the realization everything was going to be OK? Can you remember the relief? Can you remember the burden that seemed to be lifted from your shoulders? Do you remember the peace?

Mary and Joseph faced a difficult situation. With their new baby boy and the anxieties of being new parents, they also faced fear and uncertainty for his life. Feeling that his reign would be threatened, King Herod forced this new family to become refugees. In fear and confusion, they were forced to flee their home in the dark of night and moving to a foreign and unfamiliar land. They probably felt abandon and frustrated, knowing that if Jesus was really God’s Son, why would he not change their circumstances? As God had delivered his children from Egypt through the hand of Moses, why would he not deliver them from the same place of captivity?
But can you imagine the peace that overwhelmed them when they finally heard the words, “It’s time to go home.” In his perfect time and within his divine circumstances, God illumined a path in the darkness that led them out of captivity. They would finally bring their baby home in safety, and eventually see salvation burst forth for the entire world.

God’s plans, timing and circumstances do not always line up in the way we think they should. We often find ourselves waiting in our own places of captivity. Our own Egypt. We feel fear, frustration and anger, many times even questioning our very faith in God. But when we begin to see our circumstances change, and the details of God’s plans coming to perfect fruition, the burden is lifted. The fear dissipates. The anger subsides. And peace overwhelms us once again. 

God, as you brought your Son out of Egypt and revealed the perfection of your divine plan, let us remember that you are always faithful, you are loving and you can always be trusted. Even when we don't realize it, help us to know that you are our source of peace.


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