That is the theme from Living the Christian Year for the third week of Advent. What exactly is meant by that phrase? There are references to the second coming..the time when He will return, not as a baby, but in His glory. No one knows when that will happen. So what do we do in the meantime? Can we anticipate and prepare for something that we may not see in our lifetimes? Sounds tricky to me.
So..as usual I take the bigger picture into account. The one that we live in every day. The story of God unfolding in our lives as we choose to step out in faith with Him. Our God invites us to be fully engaged with those around us.. not waiting for the day. God is here with us.. He is Immanuel. We are reminded of this in one of my favorite Christmas carols. He is working and moving and restoring everything in its time. If that is really true we can anticipate joy every single day.
You know by now that I am not saying that every moment will be joyful..but I am convinced there is joy to be found in at least a few minutes of every day. He provides joy in the midst of our pain and sorrow. He interrupts our lives with sweet moments that will never happen again. He surprises us when we least expect it. This is our God.. the one who created us and cares for us. Yes.. He has joy for us..Let’s anticipate together.
“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).”
That is the message I keep getting. Stop trying to figure out the future and just be here now. Stay in the present.. allow it to be everything it is supposed to be. Sounds logical..doesn’t it? Then why is it difficult? Our desires can become demands that keep reminding us that things are not exactly the way we want them to be. God seems to be moving soooo slowly. The key is to remember that while we are waiting and praying and hoping..we are living..right here, right now. Are we living fully?
It is our choice. The thing that helps me the most is to pray and ask God to help me see what He is doing in me. He is up to something every minute of everyday..even when it seems like He is doing nothing. We may not be able to see what He is up to or glimpse His purposes, but we can be sure that He is working..both in us and around us.
I don’t know about you, but that is a great comfort to me. I may be totally confused..discouraged, or disappointed, but I can look to God and know that He is in control. My part is to live fully in the present..praying, seeking, longing for understanding and insight. God always answers prayers like that. He never keeps us in the dark longer than He needs to.
He us with you..shining His light on that next step..guiding you…your hand in His. He has surprises for you! He remembers every desire that you have hidden in your heart. You are not forgotten.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
That ‘s the way I’m looking at life these days. I want to survive the ride and land on my feet.. like a cat. Having spent the last few days with my grandcat and my grandkids I was reminded of the amazing way that cats live their lives. They can be found on the edge of almost anything..then suddenly they are under something and no one saw it happen. They flip up in the air and land with grace. They play hard..purr loudly and bring joy everywhere. Not a bad role model 🙂
This particular siamese cat is very lovable. He shows you how much he cares from the minute he gets up in the morning until the lights are turned off at night. He lives life fully and seems to find a way to entertain himself without doing much damage. The worst thing that happened was the moment when he brought a tiny frog in the house..in his mouth.. the kids screamed. Within seconds he was out the door and playing happily with his midnight snack. A simple life..but a good life.
So.. having studied him.. I think I am going to live as fully as possible..taking risks..enjoying each day..probably not hiding under the furniture or eating frogs.. just making every day count in my own small world. At the end of the day.. all I really want to do.. is land on my feet.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”