Guest Column by Kari Browder
When this season of Advent first started, I thought “joy” was going to be the major theme for me. It seemed to be a word that was popping up in my life on a regular basis (and not just because my son goes to The Joy School and I see it every day on the front of the building). I had grand plans of doing a word study on “joy” and looking at all of the times in the Bible where joy is mentioned. I felt very good about what this meant for me, in that if God was leading me to study “joy”, then a lot of joy must be headed my way…yessss!
Instead, as I’ve looked around at people, whether they be strangers I see at the grocery store, or people in my life, I’m struck by all of the despair I see in their faces and hear in their stories. Life is hard! I say that knowing that compared to so many, I have a pretty good life; but I see it out there, and it’s hard. I can sympathize with Solomon when he wrote in Ecclesiastes: “everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” What’s the point?
I was having a little theological crisis.
But then–just as in Narnia (The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe), where after years and years of constant winter, constant bleakness, gray skies all of the time, Beaver whispers, “They say Aslan is on the move!”–I was reminded of the word “hope.” The residents of Narnia knew what the arrival of Aslan meant. They knew that he would restore Narnia and save them from the witch who was currently on the throne in Narnia. If only Aslan would come, he would make it all right again. This was fact. And word on the street was that He was coming. The creatures had hope after years of despair: Aslan was coming.
Susan, having never heard of Aslan, asks, “Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
This Advent, I’m reminded of our hope that came in a baby named Jesus. Our Savior was on the move then, and He’s still moving in our lives today.
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31