Advent Love - Day 2

Please welcome today's guest blogger: Jake Winter.  Jake is a good friend from my church who loves the Lord and has put a lot of time into studying God's word.  I love talking about Scripture with Jake, and I'm glad you get to "listen in" on some of his thoughts today.  :)

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
   Why are You so far from saving me,
   so far from my cries of anguish? 
My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer, 
   by night, but I find no rest.

                                                   - Psalm 22:1-2

In these winter months, as the days are shorter, the nights are colder, and all that once seemed teeming with breath is now dead and lifeless, life can seem pretty dreary. Though we know in our heads that, in just a few short months, those first buds will appear on trees, robins will be frolicking on the now exposed grass as the scent of lily of the valley and apple blossoms drift through the air, when you look outside, get in your car, or gaze longingly at your bicycle, it seems nearly impossible to imagine.

Now imagine that winter lasting 400 years.

For 400 years, God was silent in Israel. The Jews knew God had promised Abraham a nation. They knew the scriptures, too. They knew other nations had once feared speaking behind closed doors against Israel, because God would expose those conversations to His prophets. Yet, for 400 years, there had been no prophets, and Israel was living under subjugation of other nations. Why had the God that had interacted with Israel so often in the past been silent? Had His love dried up? Had He truly forsaken Israel?

We know the story. He hadn't forsaken Israel. He sent His very Son to die on our behalf, the greatest gift of love the world has ever seen or will ever see again. God's silence over those 400 years served a very loving purpose -- it caused Israel to recognize their desperate situation and strain to hear the voice of the Lord. So when He spoke through the coming of John the Baptist, calling a nation to repent, people flocked to him. The promised one of Israel, the savior of the world, the greatest love offering ever made, was coming, and Israel was ready to hear.

Our God has called Himself the Alpha and the Omega because He is the same in the past as He is today. The same God who let Abraham wait a century to have his promised son, the same God who, out of His love for both Israel and David, had David wait decades before taking the throne of Israel, the same God who let Israel wait 400 years to meet her King, is the same God who may seem to be making you wait, too.

Does it seem like God has been silent, making you wait for something? Like Israel, He may be lovingly drawing you to the point of desperation, where you are straining to hear from Him. It is not an act of an angry God, it is not Him saying He's disappointed enough not to talk. It is His love for you, and His desire for your best, that brings about some of these seasons of waiting. David, the same man who wrote those verses from Psalm 22 quoted above, also wrote this:

I remain confident of this: 
   I will see the goodness of the LORD 
   in the land of the living. 
Wait for the LORD; 
   be strong and take heart 
   and wait for the LORD. 

                                       - Psalm 27:13-14

That is our God. 

Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord. 

For He is good, and His love endures forever.

- Jake Winter

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