A sweet piney scent as I walk in the door … garland above my window … twinkling lights out on my patio … wrapping paper and gift bags strewn about … Christmas stations set on my Pandora – the most wonderful time of the year has infiltrated my apartment, and I am soaking up every moment.
But the best part of all is early morning after breakfast when the only lights on are from the glow of the Christmas tree and the candles on my table, slowly being lit throughout the Advent season. I am not a pro at celebrating Advent – I don’t have a wreath or the “correct” readings. But I do have the four candles, red and white with the tapers on either end … and their flickers of light over my morning reading whispers hope to my soul.
Hope born in a manger – hope written into our story two thousand years ago.
Hope that God always answers prayers – hope that His plan is more perfect than we could ever dream.
Hope that God will interrupt the silence – but only at the right time.
Certainly the Israelites thought that God had forgotten about them and that the promises of a Messiah would never be fulfilled. Four hundred years of silence would most likely make anyone despair. Yet what they didn’t know – and what I must always remember – is this:
The longer the silence, the more profound and noticeable the sound that breaks it.
God is surely adept at timing – He waits until all the pieces have fallen perfectly into place – and then He raises the baton to end the rest. And the orchestra of His plan swells with the most majestic of sounds.
He did it with the Christ Child sleeping in his virgin mother’s arms. He does it today with our lives. Our impatience may grow with every day of waiting, but what we can’t see under the surface is the beauty of the sound preparing to interrupt the silence.
This is what brings such hope and why Christmas brings so much joy to my soul. It is a reminder every year that God is a fulfiller of promises, and that His story is the most beautiful. It is absolutely unfathomable that the King of the universe should be born in a stable in Bethlehem. It is unbelievable that angels would sing to lowly shepherds. It is humbling to think that God himself would become a human. Yet that is the way God chose to tell the story – the way He chose to redeem mankind and bring them to Himself.
Do I believe that He can tell my story just as beautifully? Do I trust that His timing is perfect in my life? Do I surrender control to the One who holds all the stars in His hands?
I must if I believe even a smidgen of what I profess to believe. I may not see all of that perfect plan in my life on earth, but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have to reveal it all to me for it still to be beautiful. That’s where my faith must grow daily, and where I must stay faithful to my calling.
“Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld His compassion? Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.
“Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples. With Your mighty arm You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.” (Psalm 77: 9-15)
He will never forget His beloved. He has engraved me into the palm of His hand. With joy and hopeful heart I can celebrate, even on the hardest of days, because His symphony will always cut through the silence.