Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Light Shines Through


Earlier this year I blogged about a quote that resonated with me:


And I think it resonated with many of you because of the blessed dichotomy it represents: We can be broken and useful. Uncelebrated and influential.

There is great relief in knowing “broken” and “useful” are not contrary terms when it comes to you and me. We are comforted knowing that anonymity does not preclude influence.

Think of Mary. A teenage wallflower from a dot-on-the-map town.

The world did not know her name.

When Gabriel proclaimed the work God had prepared for her, she was greatly troubled. No one knew better than Mary that she wasn’t influential or celebrated.

She wasn’t even married.


Perhaps your circumstances seem flawed. Your heart broken. Your faith fractured.

These are not obstacles for God. They are opportunities for Him to accomplish His work through you. God delights in shining the Light of Christ through the cracks of broken, willing vessels.

Even you and me.

Today I have the privilege of blogging at (in)courage.me. I've written a little piece about how God's Light Shines Through. Click here to join me over there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Almost There


Two of the most hopeful words in the English language:

“Almost there.”


Perhaps it was my partiality for rich lyrics.

Or perhaps it was the nostalgic voices from the soundtrack of my teenage years.

But when I heard this new Christmas song, I was riveted.

Take a listen.

 

 
 


Mary, full of innocence, Carrying the Holy prince,

You're almost there, you're almost there
Mother of the Living Word, Trusting in the voice you heard
You're almost there, you're almost there
You're almost where the angels see, Redemption's plan unfolding
All hope is in the Son you'll bear,
You're almost there,
A lonely road, a willing heart,
Pray for strength to do your part,
You're almost there, you're almost there,
Trust the Father to provide, Bread of heaven prophesied,
You're almost there, you're almost there,
You're almost where the waiting ends, Delivering the life within,
The answered prayer, Emmanuel,
You're almost there,
You're almost where the journey ends, Where death will die and life begins,
The answered prayer, Emmanuel,
You're almost, almost there.
 
I wonder how many times similar words were whispered…
…to Mary as they neared Bethlehem.
…in the hearts of God’s people who remembered He promised a Delivering King.
…to Simeon as he waited for the Consolation of Israel.
…to Anna as her fragile frame hobbled through the crowd toward a sparse celebration.
 
“You’re almost where the waiting ends, where death will die and life begins.”
 
Such words put a lump in my throat and catch in my breath.
·        Suffering through prolonged seasons of isolation.
·        Restoring difficult relationships.
·        Toiling over a labor of love.
·        Recovering from illness.
·        Waiting to hear.
·        Delivering a baby.
 
You’re almost there!
 
The difficulty is in the ambiguity. “How much longer?" we demand.
But the blurry timeline is also the blessing. If we knew exactly how much longer, we may throw our hands in the air and buckle under the weight of despair.
Our hope is not in a clear timeline. Instead, our hope is walking with God through difficulty knowing He has the timeline in sharp focus. He knows exactly how much longer, and for reasons beyond our understanding, He’s planned it on purpose.
He’s whispering, “Take my hand. You’re almost there.”
 
How do these words comfort you?