Sunday, December 02, 2012
I Was Hoping For More...
I'll start with a confession:
For several years now, I've hated Advent. There's nothing like the holidays to highlight the gap between where you are in life and where you'd hoped to be.
As some of you know, this has been a particularly wild year for us, as we've become foster parents to a little girl. She is wonderful. The system is not. And so the gap we're facing now isn't even a stretch between what we'd hoped for and what is. It's just a giant hole labeled, "We have no idea how this is going to turn out." (Who knew our lives could get LESS suitable for inclusion in a holiday card?)
BUT...even as this year has been particularly difficult, we've seen God working. Everywhere. It's no exaggeration to say that in the midst of this sea of impossibility, we are astonished on a regular basis.
Because of this, I realized that I don't want to slink through Advent this year. I've had enough of the tight-lipped smile, pretending everything is okay. So when I went to church this morning, I didn't cringe when I saw the Advent wreath. Instead, I asked God for a new way to see this season. And wow, did He come through.
The pastor said this about his life: "I am so incredibly blessed...and yet I'd hoped for more." He went on to say that this tension between the blessings we have and the disappointment we feel is our human condition. No matter what is going on, there is always more we'd hoped for. In some seasons, this tension is more unbearable than others. But the feeling is consistent. He talked about how the message of Advent isn't "Hooray, Jesus has come! Everything will be fine now!" But rather, "The rescue is underway...and Jesus is coming back to complete it." (Here's a link to the full sermon.)
That is something I can celebrate.
So I'll be doing a little of that here each day, sharing thoughts about living in this tension between what I hope for and what is, looking for what God is doing and anticipating the rescue. I hope you'll join me. We'll see what God does.