Advent Anxiety

Waiting.

  Wondering.

    Questioning.

  What will he look like?

 Will he be healthy?

Does he really have a role to play in God’s grand story?

Lindsey is about six months away from giving birth to our third child. In a few weeks, Lord willing, we’ll find out if the balance of power will rest with the men or women of the house. From the fatherly side of things, it’s difficult to wait on the arrival of a child. I realized with Ben and Nora Jane and now unnamed child 3 just how powerless I am.

I’m powerless to make my child healthy. I’m powerless to protect Lindsey from drunk drivers or freak accidents that make headlines every day. The waiting (advent) can breed anxiety. That is, if trust isn’t placed in the only place that matters.

Imagine the myriad of questions that Mary had 6 months away from Jesus’ birth. 3 months. 3 weeks. 3 days before, as she’s journeying for the census and knows the time has come. Oh how intense that anxiety must have been!

She had the anxieties of every woman who gives birth. But she had the added anxieties that come with giving birth to the Savior of the world. That’s something we can’t imagine.

Waiting is a humbling experience. I can’t do anything. Waiting teaches me where to place my trust, namely, in God.

To all you moms, you know the Christmas story more intimately than a man ever will. May we all, like Mary, humble ourselves before God this Advent season. As we wait, we give thanks: “for he who is mighty has done great things for me…

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What if we Forgave Like We’ve Been Forgiven

I won’t run off a list of scriptures that talk about how God’s forgiven us for our sin and did so through the sacrifice of His own Son. But I will ask, what if you and I forgave others to the extent God has forgiven us?

Some of this depends on how you view yourself in relation to God. If you don’t believe in God this ‘what if’ falls short. But even if you don’t, pretend you do. Just for a minute, buy into the belief that sin is a willful decision to violate the word of God. In essence, sin is like spitting in the face of a parent or guardian who is trying to protect you by setting boundaries. We’ve all done that at some level.

Yet regardless of the seriousness of our sin, God forgives. Through Jesus, God absorbs the insult, absorbs the rebellion, absorbs the slap in the face, and He offers reconciliation, relationship, and redemption. What if today you did that? Is there someone who has wronged you and doesn’t deserve your forgiveness but would be humbled by your gracious offer of it? Maybe they wouldn’t be humbled, but would it release you from the bitterness and anger you harbor as a result of not offering forgiveness?

What if you forgave…what if I forgave? Could that possibly uproot some of the hatred or anger in the world?