A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…..
The drive has been long in the night. She pulls in tired and weary, she glances back at the slow and peaceful breathing of her sleeping ones. resting her head on the steering wheel she breathes deep. “Oh Lord, please make something out of this mess, somehow redeem these years, restore these hearts.” she rests her eyes but is unable to rest her thoughts.
they tumble out of the car, the kids running free after being cooped up for the hours of driving it took to get there. the family pile out the door with smiles painted on and arms out wide. the expectations linger thick in the air as she braces herself at the trunk, breathing deep and praying for strength to endure. one last breath and she gathers up the presents and bags and faces the music. everyone else has already made their way inside, she enters, sets things down and joins the others around the dinner table. the conversation stays where it always does, all the elephants packed neatly on the shelf and smiles all around. “fine, fine fine” echoes like the seagulls on finding nemo. she smiles to herself at the picture as everyone shares all the ways they are ‘fine.’
she tries to play along, it’s only a short visit after all. but when she looks in the eyes of the sulking teen and the toddler pulling for the hundredth time on his mama’s sleeve, she sees deep into the un-fineness of it all and something breaks. the tears start slowly, and she tries to hold them in and look away. it’s awkward and uncomfortable, first one set of eyes catch hers, than another. the dam breaks and before she can excuse herself discretely, the room grows silent as all eyes rest on her. broken under the weight of all the brokenness sitting around this table, she lets the grief flow.
she receives a pat on the shoulder with; “now dear it can’t be so bad” and someone breaks the tension with a request for potatoes. the room fills up again with conversations about great aunt myrtle’s oysters and that time it snowed so hard no one could come for Christmas.
she looks up and glances over again at the teen and toddler. the toddler happily plays with his cranberry sauce, the teen moves her food around. she stares around this table of brokenness. she wonders about hope.
This is what the sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.”
the above words are a work of fiction, my attempt to paint a picture. the realities are stories too close, too painful to share. the levels of dis-function and unhealthy patterns of relating that we have been walking alongside this month seem to have reached epic proportions. it is magnified on all sides i think because these holiday seasons are the times when time with extended families increases. i have been battling against despair, against loosing hope. as far as the eyes can see health is not appearing. repentance continues to be rejected and all the striving and excuses and “fine, fine, fine” remains the norm. my heart grieves.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
The reality is that the Only One who can bear the weight of my hope is Jesus Himself. The Holy One of Israel who longs to be gracious, who rises to show compassion, who is a God of justice; it’s His light which shines in the darkness. it’s just the darkness has not understood it. a hope that thrills is this: yonder lays a new and glorious morn.
For today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.
He is a Wonder of a Counselor, a Mighty God, the owner and ruler of Peace. we are all weakness, yes, us who want to love well, who want to bring the light of LIFE that is real living, but God….our God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can even fathom, He is the strength of our heart and our portion forever.
in the waiting, i remember ^^.
in remembering, hope appears.
when hope appears, peace descends and along with it a release of the outcomes into the capable hands of a Father who is good.
with release, i can show up again….from a place of health.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in HIm,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
to draw further in: Isaiah 30, quoted above vs. 15 and 17, John 1, Isaiah 9, Psalm 73:26, Romans 15:13, O Holy Night.