Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Advent Devotional

Some of you asked that I post the final devotional I came up with on the Advent theme of Hope and Romans 8:24-25. This is going into a booklet our church is putting together (that I'm now working hard on editing) to lead people through the season of Advent this year. I think the final product is going to be very cool. Anyway, for those of you who wanted to read it, here is my semi-final product. I found out that the 250-word limit was more of a suggested guideline, so I got to keep mine a little longer.

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“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25
As a child, my favorite part of birthdays and Christmas was anticipating the surprise of the gifts. One year, my dad accidentally left one of my birthday gifts out a few weeks before my birthday, and I saw it and knew it was my gift. I was so disappointed at having the surprise spoiled that I cried. My birthday was ruined.
I love these kinds of surprises. I love waiting, guessing, counting down the days until I can see what’s beneath the wrapping. I relish every minute of the anticipation because I am sure that, even though I cannot see what’s coming, it is coming and is going to be great. I can enjoy the waiting patiently and hopefully—because I trust the people giving me the gifts.
But when it comes to other aspects of my life, I struggle against waiting for something I can’t see. I long to know, to see what’s coming, and when it’s coming, and if I will like it. I spent over a year longing to get pregnant yet uncertain of whether I would or could be pregnant and have a child. I knew my only real hope was in God’s goodness and my belief that whatever God was bringing would be good, even if I couldn’t see or know it yet. But my mind raced to find and cling to the few ratty strands of hope I could find in medicine, in my own research, in books.
Paul says that we were saved—from the agony of our present sufferings, from the bondage and decay of creation, from the hopelessness of uncertain waiting—through our hope in our future, final adoption and redemption. We are saved because we are certain that something glorious is coming, because we trust the One who will usher it in. That certainty and trust enable us to wait in patient, hopeful, eager anticipation, even though we can’t see how or when the final redemption will come.
May this advent season remind us to relish every minute of our waiting because we know how glorious the end will be.

6 comments:

Alex said...

This is beautiful - thanks for sharing.

Amanda said...

Wow..amazing.

Josey said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm going to refer to this post often...

Cville said...

Thank you so very much.

AmyG said...

Just lovely. Thanks!

infertilefollies said...

Great work. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the symbolism in waiting and anticipating the gifts. I'm so glad you posted this!