by Richelle Hecker
Persevering through Advent.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
I enjoy walking or driving around in the evening, looking at all of the beautiful Christmas displays. I love the creativity I see in peoples’ yards and on their houses. The festive light displays bring me a lot of joy. What I don’t enjoy, however, are many of the same scenes in the daytime hours. What bothers me the most are all of the deflated blow-up displays. I find it very depressing to see Santa and all his reindeer flattened all over someone’s front yard. Because these blow-up displays are becoming increasingly popular, our neighborhood looks like the aftermath of a huge Christmas massacre every day.
Sometimes I feel just like those displays in my heart as well. As we travel through the Advent season, waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, I go through some extreme ups and downs. Sometimes I’m as lit up as the nighttime displays, excited to experience another Christmas, other times I’m deflated, overtired, and discouraged by the extra preparation this season brings. Many years the advent season brings sadness to the surface as I think about those who cannot be with us, because they live far away, or they have gone to Heaven before us.
I have spoken with others who experience this or other trials during this time of year. Some are extremely lonely, struggle with finances, or lamenting over family conflicts. There are many ways that our joy can be stolen while we wait for the birth of our Savior. During these down times it helps to reflect on why we need Christ and what He has accomplished.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 New International Version
Be encouraged, our King is coming! He allows us to experience hardships that deflate us, but He always fills us up again. He will build you up, make you stronger, and more like Him until you are complete. He will not stop until you are a display of His splendor.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO