Monday, December 5, 2011
Advent Week II: Prepare
"Preparation is a statement of faith. It's committing to trust even though you're hurting and heartsick."
I'm heartsick because I know the kingdom is now but the challenges and heartache in this world of brokeness and sin are real. I am homesick. We are homesick.
I read this tonight in an online post about this week of advent. A time when we are invited to reflect on preparation, preparing our hearts for the coming Messiah. This the same day my daily Bible reading, Hebrews 11, points to the saints before me reminding me of trusting when I do not see. Trust like Abraham who "by faith, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." (Hebrews 11:8).
How true this feels. How often are You, O Lord, asking me to walk into the unknown. So many unchartered places of my heart and relational territory you ask me to tenderly trust you with when I do not know what's ahead only that by faith you ask me to walk.
My heart expanded as I read more thinking of the lineage of faithful and I was struck that, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them from a distance." (Hebrews 11:13)
How often my heart expands to hope and delights in the tastes I have here of heaven, but forgive me dear Jesus when I cling too tightly to what I've touched and don't place it back in your hands. May I trust that what you give me from your hand moment by moment, day by day is enough. That the various ways you choose to uniquely expand my heart to love will ever keep me living by faith trusting in the Giver, the One who sees what I often do not.
There's something about this lineage of saints that draws my heart upward, invites me into a much grander, vast narrative for my life. That the themes in my life and various territory my heart must venture are preparing for me an eternal glory I can hardly grasp. By faith some of it will be ventured now, yet much, much more is intended to be fully realized later.
Lord will I trust in what you give me now and venture where you ask me to go? Or will I distrust the way you bring about your promises and clamor to find what I deem a safer path? That I may choose faith....
And so this week of Advent, I am pressing in to the One who prepares the way, who tells the best story, who calls forth hope, cultivates my heart through patience and steps of obedience, and beckons me to trust in His fullness of time, the sovereign and majestic ways He chooses to get glory from my life deciding the where, whens, and whys.
O dear Jesus, when I don't see, when my heart waits, when your voice seems faint, when I'm tempted to doubt, will you yet still draw me near? How in need I am of your touch, how much more of your grace. Lord I pray that one day it will be said, "That because of Christ, in faith, Susie, when God tested her, walked with her Savior and was sure of what she hoped for and certain of what she did not see, trusting that God had planned something better so that only together with all the saints would she be made perfect."