Need Hope

Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with olive oil.
Isaiah 1:5-6

How long, LORD, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
Habakkuk 1:2-4

But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
    “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
  Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:22-24

When I think of the season of Advent, I think first of the darkness we must learn to wait within.

Knowing that Jesus will be born at the end of this time can give us a warm fuzzy, but the people who waited for generations, centuries, millenia, could only hope but did not know, even as we hope for Him to come again but we do not know when.

During this week, I have been thinking of the darkness that we dwell in, and the darkness within us.  I know exactly what so many of my sins are, but I cannot rid myself of them.  I try.  I want to look better to the world around me.  I don't want them to see my pride and jealousy and selfishness and greed.  My husband knows my struggles with these things, but I think he keeps that to himself, probably ashamed.  So I turn away from them, as best I can, and wait for the relief that only comes from His healing.

I look at the darkness around me, flowing over people that I love, and I feel powerless to help.  I cannot even help myself-what can I do for them, but cry to my Father for His rescue.  Sometimes, the silence burns.

Then, like the father in the story, I feel chastised by Jesus.  "Everything is possible for one who believes."  I so want to believe that I can be healed, that the darkness will be defeated within me and around me, that rescue for all is near, but there is a mocking within my heart.  How many times have there been prayers that fell back to earth unanswered?  How many times was I merely shouting at the night sky?  I want to believe-that He hears me, that He will answer me, that He will come for us.  I do believe, but I need His help to overcome my disbelief.

So we wait, trying to be patient, learning to live within the darkness but not too comfortably.  We want to be ready when the dawn comes.


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