My annual Scripture reading plan usually has me (fittingly) ending the year with Revelation. I love it because it leads me to remember the promises of Jesus as a ruling King of Kings. I usually reflect much during December on how to embrace and exalt the majesty of God in what we’ve experienced throughout the year. Almost always, I move from thinking of just my experiences and toward those whom I’ve grown to love and pray for. I am usually drawn to remember the pain, sorrow, joys, and happenings of so many that have been dealt circumstances that are different than mine.
Here are some of the things I’ve prayed for and have grieved/rejoiced over in 2012:
- Some of the deep sadness that my brother and sister-in-law have experienced these past couple of years longing to be parents. And now, finally having that privilege in adopting precious Ruby, they have to watch her through a glass fight to grow in strength while longing to hold and tickle and laugh and feed her. Hoping and praying while staying in a city/hospital several hours from their home in Louisville.
- Watching (from a distance) what my brother-in-law and my sister have wrestled with in their lives with career, relationships, and health this year. Both blessed, but still seeking wisdom and God’s great mercy in their journey.
- Witnessing my dear brother in Christ, Colton, experience the bliss of being loved and married to Katy, then only a few short months later shockingly say good-bye to his sweet mother.
- Interceding (with confused tears) for the Kerckhoffs as they bravely live day-to-day hoping for renewed strength, yet always expressing a continued faith in God’s provision.
- Experiencing Thanksgiving in Gulu, Uganda as these sweet new friends served us with their very best Thanksgiving meal possible. Having learned and watched what these brave children have in their history and what challenges they face in their future.
- And then most recently, hearing of the events in Connecticut last week and the horror of evil that manifest itself in a young man that cowardly targets the indefensible and weak and the “least of these”.
Reflecting on all of these situations (and SOOOO much more) I read the promises of God, and weep and celebrate.
As I read the Revelation to John I cling to the sovereign wisdom and eternal victory that is Jesus Christ.
“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshipped.” (Revelation 5:11-14)
And earlier in Chapter 1, I found:
“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings on earth. … Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (1:4-8)
Therefore, we move into 2013 with hope. Not a superficial “pollyanna” type of feeling. Rather, a concrete promise we have from the One whom we celebrate during Christmas. Though all the gifts, the giving, the singing, the fudge – during all the pain, trials, tears, loneliness, trauma, fear, and confusion – yes, we have the promise – HE IS COMING AGAIN. 🙂 As you reflect during Advent this year, let God’s revelation be the promise that lifts your heart above and beyond this season of your life. Join all the living creatures in proclaiming Him worthy and watch as that confession lifts the eyes of your soul no matter what you have reflected on in 2012.
He loves you. He IS coming again. There is hope!
And maybe this clip will help. Be sure and watch to the end.