Isaiah prophesied to Israel about the coming of the Messiah. The Israelites would have to experience battles and the Babylonian captivity before the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. They lived with expectation for the coming of Jesus for the next eight centuries!
Imagine hearing Isaiah’s words being read and spoken throughout those centuries amid such turmoil, grief, and loss. Imagine the grueling journey of walking in captivity to Babylon after seeing the destruction of Jerusalem. The Israelites endured this hardship without the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Significant loss, doubt, and questioning were the Israelites constant companions.
Here we are, twenty-one centuries after the coming of Jesus, living with the unknown. Conflicting information abounds. Previously developed vision is now on hold. It is difficult to plan what will happen next week, let alone over the next few months.
However, as Christians, we have an advantage. First, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. As our counselor and comforter, He guides us through our daily challenges, whether it is abuse, addictions, or isolation. Second, we know that God is not surprised at what is happening in the world. Therefore, amidst all this chaos, we can enter a place of peace, calm, and contentment.
In this season of Advent, I encourage you to reflect each week on how the foretold coming of Jesus the Messiah has impacted your life, past, present, and future. What are the same promises that the Israelites chose to believe, which you can as well? Take time each day to allow the Holy Spirit to help you welcome the Lord Jesus into wherever you feel anxious, insecure, or alone.
The question I want to leave you with is this: Are you practicing the presence of uncertainty or the presence of certainty found in Jesus? He is not a far-off hope but a present reality. As you walk through each day of Advent, seek the awakening of holy anticipation within you. The long-expected Jesus lives in you. How will Christmas of 2020 be different? How will the Lord uniquely meet you on December 25th?
I pray that the Lord surprises you in a way you were not expecting!
Rev Bob Ragan