There's a Chill in the Air

I have sensed something different in the season of Advent this year. I have sensed the coldness of a broken world. I have felt the icy fingers of weariness and grief and sadness. I have felt tired and chilled and in need of a good, long rest under a warm blanket. In many ways I feel so much older than I did last Christmas.

My heart has been broken repeatedly this year as I’ve said goodbye to so many I have loved. My faith has been cooled by seemingly unanswered prayers. My hope has been dampened by unfulfilled dreams. My spiritual walk has waxed and waned and I seem none the better for it. I am ever-conscious of the fragility of this life here on earth. I am all too aware of the trajectory of the world. And it sends a chill down my spine.

And so I have walked through this Advent season with a different anticipation. This year has brought a new kind of need for the Messiah, a small child who can warm my chilled heart.

Because through the tears there is hope, in the exhaustion lies anticipation, and in the depth of my own sorrow for the people and things that have passed, I find myself looking forward. I look past the coldness of the season to the miraculous coming of warmth and light. That is really what the Advent season is all about. In the darkness and quiet of these 25 days it begins its wonderful work of encouraging us to embrace our own tragedies as we prepare for the joyous birth of a tiny Babe.

And this human life---with its sweetness and sorrow, its joy and pain ---THIS is the very life God chose to insert Himself into when he came in flesh and blood. And He did it on my behalf. And so this year, in my own sobering reality, I gaze upon the small flames of warmth and hope represented in the Advent candles.

And I think of the birth of that tiny baby who chose to come down into a cold, dark world wrapped in nothing but swaddling clothes. And I wait with reverent hope.

Five Minute Walk

Today, take a five minute walk outside and ask God to show you the areas in which you are weak and worn. Then ask Him to breathe hope and warmth into your heart as you anticipate His birth into your own sobering reality.

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