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Advent-A Christmas Journey to Hope: When Uncertainty Leaves You Anxious and Stressed

Are you lost in uncertainty, struggling to find joy, hope and purpose?

The movement in her belly was so sudden, so startling, she wasn’t sure what was happening. All she knew was her unborn son was turning somersaults in her womb.

Uncertainty

Luke 1:39 – “...the baby leaped in my womb.” 

John, the unborn Baptist, was practicing gymnastics in Elizabeth’s belly. Wondering somewhat anxiously at his exhibitions, she rounded the corner, and her distant cousin stood in the doorway.

I can imagine one word filled her mind in this moment-

HOPE!

I know the more common phrase is “leap for joy”- not to say there wasn’t ecstatic joy among those blessed with this secret too precious for the masses- but, the Israelites had been waiting for Jesus in uncertainty for millennia, and here He was, finally, fresh on the scene, albeit not quite in the flesh… yet.

John, even in his unformed body, was supernaturally informed of his cousin’s proximity.

There was an unprecedented amount of the miraculous taking place during these few short months.

*And we can glimpse insight from an unborn child in close proximity to His next-of-kin Savior, in the hope Jesus brings in uncertainty.
Jesus’ arrival on the scene in history, and His entire 33-year presence in the world, was infectious in a far more grandiose way than any pandemic, crisis, or latest viral video or tweet.

Jesus cannot go unnoticed, unfelt, even in the epicenter of economic crisis, protests, social unrest, or personal suffering.

How can we sense His presence in the midst of uncertainty? We draw near.

Even in the womb, Jesus had a life-altering and profound effect on people…

particularly for those who were well-tuned to His presence.

His touch manifested wholeness, restoration, healing and brought blind eyes into the light and deaf ears into birdsong and laughter.

His words inspired hope and joy and raised the dead to life.

His gaze penetrated the depths of a soul, casting light into the darkest corners of its hidden, often unknown depravity.

He had a powerful and eternal effect on people’s bodies, minds and souls.

But, people back then had to hear Him, see Him, touch Him, ask Him, to experience these effects.

Today, we have His Spirit with us!

Yet, if we do not spend time in His presence, there can be no effect, change or life-giving hope, joy, peace or purpose.

Severing soul from Savior leads to spiritual emaciation.

I’ve learned this leaves me more vulnerable to the soul-deadening influences of the culture and the fear and hopelessness permeating society.

How can we tune our hearts to sense His presence with us today with uncertainty swirling all around us?

I have found a few quiet moments to savor His Words, whisper a prayer, walk in His Creation and inhale the fragrance of His love: a bird singing, the rustling of leaves, the endless blue sky, fills my scraggly soul sublimely.

I’m far from perfect, but He is, and this magnifies any meager effort I make.

Whatever does it for you, attune your mind and heart to sense Him, and you, like John in the womb, and every life He touched, will be filled with the infectious hope of His presence!

“Oh, God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole being longs for you in a parched and weary land where there is no water” Psa. 63:1.

“Give in to the wars waging without and miss the abundance of peace available within.”  Shelly Miller, Searching for Certain

*Photo courtesy of The Nativity Story movie

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