Hope Remains

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This year’s advent wreath sits in the middle of the dirty table but reminds me, this is Jesus.

He sits with us in the middle of our mess bringing clarity and the hope for the renewal of all things simply with his presence.

He comes and collects the dirt we stand in with his hands, mixes it with his saliva and rubs it into our eyes so we can see. 

Just by being Immanuel, God with us, He remains and therefore we remain held in the tender arms of hope. 

We have friends who are cradling a baby as long as they can because his life will be very short and yet their hope remains in God’s plan for them and for the sweet little boy who looks into the eyes of an entire community to bring them together in love.  His preciousness presses us to believe the mysteries of life though unexplained can still give us hope in that there is something more than what’s just here.  The young mother, I imagine is trying to treasure it all in her heart while she can… but knowing much like another young mother from centuries ago, that a sword is piercing her heart, shattering it into a million pieces as she counts the breaths her little one has left.

My parents are aging and their health is fading and as I worry about their health and provision yet this morning when I read this:

“This is the gift that wraps up all stresses quiet:

I will bless you.

Who comes in the heaviness of the day, to the space where the weight hangs on the edges of you, so you just keep holding your breath, so you just keep forgetting to breathe.

But the weight of everything melts like thinning snow in the heat of his words: “I will bless you.” He will not burden you. He will not break you. He will bless you – the God of the invincible reality, the God who has infinite resources, the God who is insistent love.  You can always breathe when you know all is grace.” {Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the full love story of Christmas}

God was birthed in the midst of struggle and remains in the midst of our brokenness to remind us of hope that is now and hope that is coming.

The eagle was designed by God with wings unlike any other bird. When the strong winds come, most birds hide in the trees, but the eagle’s wings were made to soar higher above the gusty adversity of the world he flies in.  The higher he soars, the closer to God and the stronger his wings become.

So hope remains for us:

“but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.” {Isaiah 40:31}

May the grace and peace of God make your wings take you higher today.

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