Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hope

Christmas...it's all about hope.

This morning my prayers are filled with "biggies". Prayers for two families celebrating their first Christmas without a father, for a family whose Christmas joy is diluted with the sadness of an empty chair belonging to an estranged son, for a dear friend sitting by her newborn baby in the NICU, for my dad's worsening and undiagnosed health problems...bigger stuff than what to get Aunt Bertha for Christmas. And, yet, I have this hope!

Paradise was, indeed, lost. God created this perfect earth, lavishly filling it with every good thing. He created people because He wanted friends. But sin came...and we've all suffered the pain of it one way or another. But the very God who was rejected couldn't bear the separation! So He sent His Son.

His Son.

For you.

For me.

All because the great God of the universe, the God who is so huge we can't even begin to comprehend how vast and how great He is, wants to be connected to us. Just stop and think about that for a minute.

A stinky stable. A mother who was most likely gossiped about. A humble father from nowhere. Fleabitten shepherds. And a sky filled with glorious angels declaring, "Peace on earth, good will toward men!!"

Peace on earth? But what about _________ ? What about that big list of heavy duty prayer requests? People often ask, "If there's a good God, how come so many bad things happen?" And yet, of all the gods in the history of mankind, this is the only God who lavishes love on a world that rejected Him and continues to reject Him. I say, wow, what a God! That's an irresistible love.

Yes, I'm grieving with those who grieve. I'm also celebrating with them the good fruit that will continue for generations because of the faith of their fathers. I ache when I see that little baby in NICU, and I'm filled with gratitude because her little life is already a story of miracles. I long for sons to be reconciled to their families, and I believe because I know so many stories of reconciliations that could only have happened by the grace of God.

We continue to see the consequences of sin and separation from God. And we have a promise for a day when there will be no more pain, tears, sorrow and dying. (Revelation 21:4)

On this sparkly, Christmasy morning I bring my requests to God with thanksgiving and hope because I've seen His Love born in a manger, crucified on a cross, resurrected from the dead, redeeming in the present, and promising to come back and make all things new.

"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!

His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness;

His mercies begin afresh each morning.

I say to myself,

The Lord is my inheritance;

therefore I will hope in Him!

The Lord is good to those who depend on Him

to those who search for Him.

So it is good to wait

quietly for salvation from the Lord."


Lamentations 3:21-26







2 comments:

  1. "And." Most editors would shudder at the thought of beginning a sentence with a conjunction. This wanna be thinks it works perfectly. *And* she wants to thank you for this hope-filled post.

    MM

    ReplyDelete
  2. Michelle , as always dead on....

    ReplyDelete