Day 6 - December 8, 2017

God's Faithfulness

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” Psalm 107:19-20
 
As I write these thoughts, I am waiting for surgery that is two weeks from today. I think the waiting is much like Advent waiting, and the waiting that continues for God’s perfection to come to earth. Before Jesus was born, and before my surgery, there is pain. My pain is obvious: walking hurts and I use a cane. The pain in Jesus’ day was obvious, too. The Romans caused pain that overwhelmed the Jews. The Jews were expected to pay exorbitant taxes, including much of the food they grew for themselves. The Romans were abusive in numerous ways. Added to that was the pain in knowing their God was going to send a Messiah, but where was that Messiah? The pain for the Jewish people was real.
 
And, of course, there was Mary’s and Joseph’s pain. Joseph surely was concerned about how to take care of his wife and the baby, the child of God. How could he be a good provider if he couldn’t even find a place for them to sleep at night? Mary’s pain was very physical, and she too must have wondered how they were going to best care for the child.
 
After the pain, for me, comes surgery and then a different pain, the pain of rehabilitation. Mary and Joseph and Jesus experienced a different sort of pain, too: the pain of having to run and hide in Egypt. They were gone a few years before they could return to their home and reintegrate into their families and home community. It took small steps, I’m sure, and was much like physical therapy: practice, practice, practice, even when it hurts. 
 
There is an end in sight, for me and for them, and for you. God’s strength and love will get us through. God is faithful. I think that Advent and the birth of Jesus is one of the best ways to know God’s faithfulness.
 
May you be strengthened in God’s love and covered with God’s comforting touch during this season of waiting, receiving, and healing
 
submitted by the Reverend Cheryl Harader

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