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      The Expectation That Comes With Darkness, Silence, and Uncertainty

      Candles

      The Expectation That Comes With Darkness, Silence, and Uncertainty

      Yesterday, I posted 5 Ways To Handle Darkness, Silence, and Uncertainty in Our Lives.  I hope you’ll go back and read this post.  It is one of my favorites.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of darkness, silence, and uncertainty lately.  I can’t say I like this feeling in general.  As I alluded to yesterday, it can feel so lonely and isolating when we are in this state of uncertainty.

      We are not alone in this feeling of isolation.

      At least two times in Biblical history, God seemed to disappear from the scene.  The first time came when the Israelites moved to Egypt to escape the famine.  If you remember, Jacob moved his entire family to Egypt to live with his son, Joseph, who had gone down to Egypt when his brothers sold him into slavery.  The Israelites (Jacob’s descendents) ended up living in Egypt for 400 years. I’m not a Biblical scholar, but there seems to be very little record of God speaking to His people during this period of time.  It wasn’t until God spoke to Moses through the burning bush that we begin to see God breaking the silence.  A short time later, he led his people out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land.

      Fast forward several hundred years.  The Bible is full of stories and prophesies in the Old Testament which give a record of God’s voice and interaction with His people.  We hear from prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and Daniel.  We see God speaking to King David and King Solomon.  There are many clear examples of God speaking.

      But then it happened again.  God was quiet.  About 400 years before the time of Christ, there seems to be another period of silence.  The prophesies stop.  And the stories of God’s interaction come to a halt.  For 400 years, the people of Israel are in a place of darkness, silence, and uncertainty.

      And then it happens!

      God breaks through kind of like the Apollo 13 clip we saw yesterday.  He shines brightly through the darkness as He sends His Son to earth on a rescue mission like none other.  He speaks to His people like never before – through His one and only Son.  I think there was an expectation on the part of the Israelites.  They expected to see God.  They expected to hear God speak.  And they waited.

      We are approaching a time of year when we celebrate Christmas.  This season means many things to many people.  It means family.  It means food.  It means presents.  It means traditions.  It means Christmas movies and Christmas carols.  It means holiday parties and ugly sweaters.

      But there is something more.

      Christmas is a time to remember God’s unmistakable voice breaking through the silence, darkness, and uncertainty.  Christmas represents God’s rescue mission for us – His people.  It represents the coming salvation for those who believe and put their trust in Him.

      As we head into advent next week (the time before Christmas), I invite you to listen for God’s voice.  Watch for the ways God is breaking through the darkness and uncertainty in your own life.  And celebrate the new thing He is doing in you.

      Maybe it seems like God hasn’t spoken to you for a very long time.  Maybe it seems like 400 years.  As we talked about yesterday, maybe we just need to stop, wait, and listen.

      May God speak to you in new ways this holiday season!  May He provide an epiphany directly to you and to me.

      How is God speaking to you these days?  What are you doing about it?