Second Sunday of Advent

Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care. Isaiah 40:9-11

I like to think I’m in control of everything. My bed is made just right every day of the week. My colored post-it notes don’t have to stay on the desk for long – I always get the task done on time! I have a To-Do list ready for every day of the week each week so I don’t forget anything.

And then something happens. This week we took in a refugee family, throwing our lives into a crazy, beautiful tornado. Three hours to turn that storage room into a playroom. Everything from the guest room needs to be moved into that perfect looking bedroom. Time to raise kids full time – school drop offs, meetings with the county, frantic searches for a single pair of underwear for a 7-year-old, an abundance of paperwork, new items from generous people dropped off at our house for the kids every day. And then there are the doctors’ visits for the Mom who is too sick to move much of the time, the extra trips to find the right medicine, the mess. Oh, the mess. ;) But there are also the hugs, the smiles, the kisses, the cuddles, the small victories that overflow your heart. What a tornado!

Maybe for you it’s the sudden loss of a loved one, an adult child who continually makes poor decisions, a custody or divorce battle, a negative test result from the doctor, a new boss. You never know what will turn your life upside down but when it happens, you suddenly realize that you are not in control. And if we’re smart, we’ll turn to the One who is more powerful than we can imagine, yet who loves his flock enough to give His life, who loves each individual lamb, even you and me.

Whatever you’re going through this week, rest in the powerful arms of God, the One who picks you up, carrying you in his bosom and leading you to a place of rest. Cry out to God as your Shepherd, recognizing just how tiny we are and how tremendously huge He is. Remember that your life is gone in the blink of an eye. The problems that keep your anxious mind awake at night are nothing compared to the immensity of eternity. And slow down. Slow down knowing that He’s got you. He’s carrying you and He’s not going to leave you.

This Sunday, we pray:

“Sovereign of all nations, our cornerstone of trust, deliver, in your mercy, your creatures made from dust. Jesus, be God with us, Emmanuel foretold. Like a shepherd feed us in safely gathered fold. Maranatha, Lord Messiah, long awaited from afar. Come and make your home among us. Let us see your birthing star.”

Or as the popular worship song “Everlasting God” says,

“Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord. Our God, you reign forever. Our hope, our strong deliverer, you are the everlasting God. You do not faint. You don’t grow weary. You’re the defender of the weak. You comfort those in need. You lift us up on wings of eagles.”

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