AM Psalm 45; PM Psalm 47, 48
Isa. 9:1-7; 2 Pet. 1:12-21; Luke 22:54-69
And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:4 ESV
It was another 80°+, almost 90° day in October and I longed for a blast of cool, fresh air that accompanies my favorite time of year: fall, with the colors, the smells and the air of anticipation of the coming holiday gatherings and the coming of Advent. I was born physically and spiritually in the fall. That may have something to do with it as well.
This year brought the milestone of my 55th birthday and with it the realization that due to circumstances totally beyond my control most of the plans I’d made for the past 30 years will not be a part of our our future. Physical disabilities and financial changes that have taken place over the past two years have forever changed the landscape of our lives. I’ve been on a long journey through wilderness and solitude, pain and hope of healing. I have discovered that God’s plans for us are often very different from our own and that His gift of grace to me does not necessarily mean giving me the strength and the ability to carry my life’s burdens, but rather He gives me the courage to let Him carry me through them.
I missed most of Advent last year in a fog of surgeries, pain, drugs and recuperation. This year I come to Advent with great longings–for the comfort of the Holy Spirit, for His care of me as I release a lifetime of plans and focus on where He is now leading me in this journey called “life,” for a new appreciation of the signs, sounds and smells of what is, without regret for what might have been.
This year is filled with a giddy anticipation of the coming Advent with its new life, sustaining joy and hope for all that God has promised in the coming of His Son.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel!