Comfort and Joy Photo
Article,  Devotion

Advent: The Season of Comfort and Joy

I sat in my corner chair in my bedroom—and cried.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Counting down the days in December. Wrapping gifts. Christmas lights. Sipping Martinelli’s Apple Cider.

But there is also an aching in my soul, a longing, a sorrow.

Things are not as they should be.

I think we can all sense it, can’t we?

We come to Christmas with aches in our souls and longings we hope are fulfilled. It might be loved ones we miss. Jobs that we’ve lost. Chronic illnesses. Or it might just be the burden that not all is right in the world.

Advent is a season where we lean into the darkness, the longing, the aching—and look forward to the light who came into the world—to come again and make all things new.

Comfort While Waiting for the Lord

The longings in our hearts, show us our need for the Lord. As we wait for his ultimate return, we are also waiting for him to move in our lives in our present reality.

The Transformation Center blog says it beautifully:

“Waiting for Christ’s coming into the places of our lives where we need him most right now ushers us into a special kind of waiting that is alert and watchful, full of anticipation and yet patient.”

Ruth Haley Barton

We wait for God to meet us with his comfort right where we are as we long for His return.The victory over sin and death is won, but the fullness of the kingdom of God is not yet. So we wait.

But when the fullness of the kingdom comes, it will be glorious. There will be no more sorrow, no more pain. No more barren wombs, or unmet bills. No more adultery and husbands that leave. No more empty pantry cupboards or pill boxes. No more crying ourselves to sleep with aching hearts.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:4-5

I think it’s okay to ache toward joy—even Christ did the same. He persevered through his suffering, looking toward the joy set before him—conquering sin and death and sitting at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 12:1-3).

The beauty of Advent is that we can experience both comfort and joy as we wait for Jesus' return.

So, I sat in my chair this Advent and let the snotty tears tell Jesus my cares. The salty water served as my invitation for Christ to come and help me wait well. For me, Advent is a time to experience both his comfort and joy, while we remember his first coming at Christmas—and look forward his return.

LET’S TALK:

Where do you need God’s comfort this Christmas? Invite Him in.

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