holy is the lord.
The lights dim, the fires are put out, and the ornaments and decorations are packed away. The last major event of the holiday year has come to an end and the expectations are breathed out almost as a heavy sigh. I missed this advent season. Quite honestly. Last year I sat and marveled, studied, reflected. This year, leading into the Christmas season I worked… Two separate works days trailed almost 36 hours with little rest. I felt like I just hung on to the season, but still in it there will always be a peace and wonder.
Tonight I cannot help but think about Abraham leading Isaac away from his home to be offered as a burnt sacrifice. Perhaps one of the most layered and complex stories of the entire Bible, but one so simple it is never drawn far from the heart. Abraham followed the voice of God without reservation – in leaving his family for a land he didn’t know, and for leading his long-awaited son to the alter, simply at the command of the LORD. Requiring obedience, the intention was never for the boy, but for the testing of the heart of Abraham in such an intense way. Abraham’s faith fell in God’s provision.
My sister and brother-in-law came into town for Christmas and I got to meet my little nephew for the first time. If the rush of fatherhood is to compare how I felt about this little boy from the moment I led him, I will one day taste of very deep sweetness, but holding his little smile in my hands has been one of the greatest blessings of the year. At only 4 months old, he engages the world with delight, but is absolutely helpless. This afternoon I heard him crying in the crib and so I took him out and rocked him in the chair a while.
I kissed his tiny head as his eyes followed me, or the toys I would hold before him. With his pacifier in his mouth, he would pause for a moment and furl his eyebrows to understand what he was looking at before tracing his gaze back to me. He’s helpless. He cannot eat on his own. He cannot express emotions beyond smiling, crying, and wagging his arms and legs. He cannot even roll over. But in his complete dependency he’s entirely safe.
It echoes in my heart as I struggle with my own feelings of inadequacy. It is only when I lean into His provision, to first see everything as a gift, filter it through the needs of my family, and allow the rest to reach out to make much of His name that I understand peace. It is a rest from the relentless need to prove myself, or show myself, but to be quiet for a moment and hold my Father’s hand. The provision of God is not something I can stock pile, but comes when I need it and this to fix our eyes on His as we ‘walk on the water’. If He were a God who sent only provision in bundles then He would be a God not well acquainted with relationship – but if He is close, I am like the infant who need not worry because my father is always close at hand.
We rest in Him and He gives us rest in this world. He is the King and the chaos is only the world crying for the return of the king. Even so, come.