November 29 (Genesis 28:15)
For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
Our son and I were hiking in a sandstone canyon carved by the melting of glaciers in western Indiana. I had pulled out my phone to take a picture of one glorious scene when I surprisingly received a bit of signal, and text messages started pinging through. My friend’s wife had just been diagnosed with cancer.
It had been easy to revel in the splendor of God’s creation and to feel His goodness and love as we hiked the snow- and ice-covered trail beneath a brilliant, crisp, November sky. But now? We stopped and prayed together for our friends, but we before continuing on the trail, we talked about how some people are crushed by the trials that come to all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, and how they can be led to question God’s love and even His presence. I recalled this verse and others, and we talked about the sureness of God’s care for us, even, or especially, in moments when we do not feel it.
Illness. Accidents on the highway. Incurable diseases. Losses of any kind. Yes, we want to focus on Advent and the approach of Christmas. There are lights to be hung and holiday preparations to be made. Yet the very reason we celebrate the birth of one baby in a way we celebrate no other is because He was living proof of today’s verse. Is He the One you cling to when the twinkling lights go out and the pains of life set in?