Saturday, December 3, 2016

In the Dimness

If you know the story of Elisabeth Elliot and her late husband Jim Elliot, then you know that Elisabeth had one of the most remarkable faith perspectives. Thundered with trials, heart aches, fear, and even doubt, she held fast to the belief that the Sovereign God was in control, regardless of how clear the picture was to her. Later in her life, when giving Bible devotionals over the radio, she recorded these words:

In the dark streets shineth the everlasting Light—the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. Why not with trumpet blasts? Wouldn’t you expect that the coming of the King of kings would be with trumpet blasts, with royal proclamations and fanfare and maybe camel trains and pomp and ceremony—and who knows what other kinds of ceremony, celebration?

It was a strange method for God to choose. But God is in the business of doing things in ways we never imagine. He moves in what seems to us, twilight. In the dimness we have to make our decisions. We would like to have a star of Bethlehem to guide us, wouldn't we? Oh, how many times I've wished that God would give me something as unequivocal as a star of Bethlehem, or handwriting on the wall, or a pillar of fire to guide me.

But God doesn't do it that way, does He? Most of the time, walking by faith means walking in a certain degree of dimness where we have to make our decisions and act and obey. And it's only the next morning that we can look back and understand.”

- Elisabeth Elliot
This is the last day of Week 1; tomorrow we light the second Advent candle, the Bethlehem candle, or the candle of Peace. Ancient words and prophecies will be funneled tighter and tighter, closer and closer, until the “fullness of time had come” (Galatians 4:4). God sent His son. . . As a tiny embryo in the womb of a maiden. As a baby surrounded by angels, shepherds, and kings. As an honest carpenter and son. As a miracle worker, teacher, and friend. As the sacrificial King. As the Victor who conquered death once and for all, for our sake . . .Emmanuel. 

A baby born in Bethlehem. How could that be part of God’s great plan? “It’s only the next morning that we can look back and understand.”

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