We are not still waiting for the Messiah. But, it does us good to remember there was a time in the history of mankind when we were. In this season of Advent, we have looked earnestly into the past to see how the world watched and prepared for the long awaited birth of Christ. There were a few who recognized Him when He came, and it was because the Holy Spirit had prepared their hearts for His coming. Hope-filled longing had made room, had carved a place, only He could fill.
How would we know we needed Him, if we did not fully embrace the reality of the lack of Him? This is the tension in which we live out our salvation: our constant need of Him tethered to the blessed assurance of being forever saved by Him. The dance we weave between these two realities proclaims the gospel even as it renders amazement in the angels. (1 Peter 1:12)
Through the years, I have found the days leading up to Christmas to be filled with a profound sense of God’s peace and good will toward men. In the midst of planning and executing gatherings for friends and family, in the merry-making and in the giving, there is a deep and deepening well of gratitude that both stills and thrills my heart. I am undone in the reality of my need, and I am overcome with the joy of His salvation.
This mystery of yearning and receiving gives me perspective and enables my soul to thrive even in the most difficult of trials. So I am helped by reviewing history and contemplating a world without Him, because it makes real and tangible the miracle of His presence with me today. Considering the warnings He gave His people regarding their rebellion and idolatry gives me pause to stop and pray for Him to show me His ways that I might walk in them. Remembering He is Holy and He is also my righteousness keeps my heart pure.
A friend and pastor said today, “There are some prayers that are fathomless.” In other words, you can pray them every day and never reach the bottom of them. One such prayer I leave you with: Almighty God, to You all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from You no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Dear reader, let us be diligent to remain true to His word and cling to what He has given us in our hours of need.
Until next week, beloved, acknowledge your need and receive Him.