Tickell Expressions

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Advent - Day 21

Dear Friends,

Bernice Hopper brought the Advent devotional today at His Kingdom Come. The song which inspired her words and art was "A Strange Way to Save the World".
 In the song Joseph struggles with his own feelings of weakness. But God loves to choose the weak things of this world and he is well aware of our weaknesses. In fact, Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus - our high priest, who constantly intercedes on our behalf - is intimately acquainted with the weak human condition.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (The Message Translation):

"Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help."

Bernice put the question out - "What can I do?" I asked the question of myself and sent it up as a prayer.

Yesterday I found out that tragedy has struck someone else that I know. Another young life has been ripped away before his time. Other friends are facing serious illnesses, not knowing what the outcome will be for them. A young woman hit black ice and was killed instantly, leaving young children and a grieving husband behind. Another family tragically lost their dad and his widow struggles to make Christmas for her little children. There is so much sorrow all around, but what can I do?
My life is relatively free of troubles right now. My family members are safe and fairly healthy. We have presents under our tree and plan to visit extended family over Christmas. Happiness is mine. If I take time to identify with the sufferings of others, my happiness will be affected. Yes it will.
But I have something that is deeper than happiness. I have JOY. Happiness flies away at the first hint of a cold wind. Joy is not so easily dislodged. Joy settles deep into my bones and tells me that all will be well; we will weather this storm. And joy allows me to identify with the sorrows of others without fear.
What can I do? I can pray. I don't mean only fleeting prayers offered in quick moments, though they have value too. Because I have Joy deep on the inside of me, I can allow myself to be touched deeply by the sorrows of others. Then Jesus intercedes through me (Romans 8:26) with sounds and words that bypass my mind. There is a release of the sorrow as my prayers take wing. Then Joy is with me most assuredly, letting me know that my prayers have been heard.
 And here is some very good news for you. Joy is available to you, no matter what you are facing in your life. Joy is unshakable. Joy can bear much sorrow, and joy does not shrink away from the sorrows of others, even in happy times. Joy has another name and that name is Jesus.

Advent blessings,


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