Advent Reflection: Love

sunrise

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, LORD,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

Psalm:143: 8-10


Why do you wake up?

Is it because of work? Because class is starting? Because the kids are hungry? Because today’s to-do list presses against your frontal lobe?

Many mornings, I wake up with an anxious-dread complex, reminding me I need a semi-professional outfit to attend the semi-professional job I work in the liminal space between college and a career. At my age, I still experience life as if it’s a Christmas gift perched on the horizon; this giant package in gold paper, tied up with satin ribbon, and hundreds of miles out of reach. I sense it’s waiting to be opened, waiting for me to open it, and I feel there is something magnificent inside.

If only I could get to it. If only it wasn’t so far off and the hike didn’t seem so treacherous.

The feeling doesn’t exactly correlate with what I understand. I understand living presently. I understand seeking meaning in my day job. I even understand being (and believe myself to be) deeply, unconditionally loved by Jesus. But big, influential pieces of me still think life is found in becoming something important, in doing something significant. Having not achieved either by worldly standards, I’m caught in this sticky web of anxiety, spun around and around and around in the silk of one-days and maybes until I’m utterly wrapped up—awaiting certain death.

I forget. I forget the sweat and love and precious blood that brought a Savior into this world, and I forget the sweat and love and precious blood He went out spilling.

I forget my life and my path and my purpose are already found in the curtain-tearing love of Jesus.

But because I can’t ever remember good enough, I feel like the spider in Jonathan Edward’s 1741 sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” A vermin hanging over the pit of hellfire from a spindle between the fingers of God, expecting to fall at any moment, expecting the fall I deserve on account of all my awful sin. Waiting, knowing. And yet… living still!

For the Love of God is too big to drop me.

Let me ask you: What if you woke up to hear the word of God’s unfailing love?

What if you believed in first blink from under your covers the to-do list was already done, the hungry children fed, the work finished, the house cleaned. What if in the tiny sliver of light from between the curtains you knew, for certain, there was nothing to earn in the hours of a day. And what if, before a yawn reached your lips, you trusted (really trusted) the path to be laid, your enemies defeated, and the ground made level before you.

And in rolling from your left to your right, still tangled in the sheets,
all the distrust and anxiety,
every fear and shame,
every uncertainty and need,
each to-do left on the list,
was silenced by remembrance of the King.

Replaced with a whisper like a roar!

Listen, child, for His Love comes on the rays of the rising sun.


Find this reflection and many others in the Broad River Community Church Advent Guide

 
Peace, grace and love to you, in this season and always.

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3 comments

  1. Reading this over here in my morning, and my shoulders just left my earlobes as I sighed and released all sorts of tension I didn’t know I was keeping. Thanks for sharing your Advent reflections and bringing a little bit of the Kingdom into everyday waking.

  2. I needed this today. I’ve been struggling BIG TIME with feeling “good enough” lately. These words were a balm to my heart. Merry Christmas, Jane.

  3. Wow… brilliantly articulated! Thank you for sharing!

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