Our pastor preached about "HOPE" this week after the first candle on the advent wreath was lit, the candle of HOPE. Our pastor preaches outside of the box and gets people's attention. He asked us this question, "What are you hoping for?" Instantly I thought, I hope this is the year Heidi is found and returned home to her family. He continued after giving a few seconds to think, or it was a few seconds before I rejoined the sermon. It was his next statement and my take away from his message that stops me in my thought process.
After asking us what we hope for, he stated this, "Most stuff you hope for, you have no control over." I felt tears well up at this thought. My hope and daily prayer is for Heidi and pastor's words echoed such truth, "Most stuff you hope for, you have no control over." Amen! I have no control over when or how my sister will be found and returned to her family BUT this doesn't mean I should stop hoping and praying. On the contrary, it is because of HOPE, that we are able to seek God and ask Him to fulfill our hope. I can't control Heidi's discovery but this desire and hope "brings us to our knees in prayer" (another quote from pastor) to a God listening and answering every prayer.
God answers EVERY prayer. Sometimes it is "Yes", other times it is "No", and then there is the "Not yet". I keep hoping and lifting my prayers to God because He is faithful to answer our every prayer, this is our HOPE. As you celebrate Advent by opening little gifts, eating a daily chocolate, and in prayer...remember you have HOPE. A hope found in a relationship with Jesus. We may not be able to control the things we hope for BUT we have a God ready and able to answer these prayers. I won't lose hope. Instead, let this knowledge bring us to our knees in prayer, for God, who is in control, to answer our prayers of HOPE in a way that acknowledges He is real and our Savior.
“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts.
Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…
If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas,
if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer.
Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls
that can truly change our hearts.
Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac