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Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, NASB)

One morning recently, I read Luke 1:6-7. Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithful people, yet they were suffering because they were childless. Children were considered a blessing and being childless caused them to live with a stigma … but they remained faithful.

The story has challenged me during this season of Advent.

The social climate around us does not seem to be getting better. Each day the news is filled with segments which cause me to wonder when we will ever see things improving.

There is no better time to ponder this than in this time of waiting and silence. We are not the first of God’s people to be in the dark.

Those four hundred years of silence were bleak for God’s people. They too were waiting for deliverance from the oppression of the day. They knew the promise of a coming Savior, but when? And how long were they going to wait?

The tune begins to go through my head and as I pay attention to the words, I am struck with the contrast between sadness and rejoicing.

“O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”

The people in captivity. They knew the feeling of being alone and in exile while here on earth. They longed for the light to come, the Light which would disperse the gloom and dark shadows which sought to linger.

Yet they kept waiting, watching, hoping.
And they remained faithful.

And while they waited, they rejoiced. Not in their challenging days.

They rejoiced in Emmanuel, who would always be with them.
They rejoiced in Emmanuel, who would always come to them.
They rejoiced in the Help that was on its way.

I am reminded of the Scripture in Luke 18:8 which asks the question:

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Going through difficult times doesn’t mean that God has forgotten us. We were not promised a life of ease. but exhorted to develop a life of faithfulness to Him.

Will He find us waiting, watching, hoping,
and remaining faithful to Him?

Linda brings us a glimpse of the heart of Jesus, both spiritual and physical. “The beautiful heart of Jesus was (and is) the heart of God.” His physical and beating heart. Read her post, “The Heart”, HERE.


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