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An Uphill Climb

You can feel it in your bones sometimes when you stop for a moment - like life’s this stairway that you just never stop climbing, this ladder that goes on forever without end. Like all these lists are rungs, like your failures stretch from earth up to heaven, like all your rest feels like lying down on one unforgiving stone. Sometimes you’re just the most tired of trying to be strong.

Ann Voskamp - The Greatest Gift

This year has felt exactly like that for me: first the unbelievable tragedy of losing my son-in-law, compounded by my own health problems, which have sapped every ounce of my physical stamina. This year has felt like an uphill climb that just never ends. I’m just the most tired of trying to be strong.

And then comes Advent…that time of year when the weary world sits in darkness, almost without hope. Peace has eluded us, joy is buried deep in the hardships of life, and real love can almost seem like a fantasy. But that’s really just where we need to be to receive the baby born in Bethlehem. It is when we have been rocked by tragedy, drained by difficulty, and starved for unconditional love that we come to the end of our own strength. We realize we just don’t have it in us to pick up all the broken pieces and soldier on. As we sit sobbing in the darkness, forlorn and exhausted, Jesus comes down to carry us up the hill. We don’t have to climb it on our own. In fact, we CAN’T climb it on our own. And when He arrived in Bethlehem, He brought the love gift of Himself wrapped up in swaddling clothes of hope, peace, and joy.

So cease your striving. Sit in the dark and weep if you need to. Acknowledge the harsh realities you have experienced this year. Ask for someone to come and carry you up that unclimbable hill. That is what Advent is for.

Walk Your Weariness with Jesus

Go for a short walk today and tell him how tired you feel, how weary you are of dealing with your failures and shortcomings, and how careworn you have become from living on this planet. And then resolve to wait patiently each day of Advent for the coming of your Savior.

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