As we wake up, bleary eyed, on January 1, many of us will do so with relief…relief that 2020 is hindsight. And with hope…hope that 2021 will bring more peace, joy, and hugs.
There’s no way around it; 2020 was rough. Each family rode out the storm facing a variation of gusts, in a variation of boats. But we all felt the impact of the storm – and are coming out the other side feeling a little (or a lot) battered.
But now, we are in the homestretch. And we wait. We wait, with anticipation, for a time when work and education are steady, hugs and high fives are plentiful, and we can pack out a basement to watch a Chiefs game.
This year, particularly, the Christ Child is born into a world in desperate need of comfort and hope. A world that is weary. A world where rejoicing feels just out of reach.
As we wrap up the first week of Advent – one that focuses on hope – we anticipate the coming of a better time. As a matter of fact, that’s what Advent means. Advent is a time of hopeful, expectant waiting.
We anticipate the birth of Emmanuel, God with us. And we wait, not just for Christmas, but for the Kingdom of Heaven to come in fullness. We are living in the “already, but not yet.” Jesus is born and died on the cross. But we still await His triumphant return and the realization of His perfect Kingdom. Advent is a microcosm of our hopeful waiting in faith.
Weary and burdened, we wait for the Lord, Emmanuel, with our whole being and put our hope in His unfailing love. (Psalm 130) Our hope is an anchor for our souls. (Hebrews 6:19) And even in the midst of a difficult year, we are called to be joyful in hope and patient in affliction. (Romans 12:12)
So this Advent season and the year 2020 AD, “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him…” (Romans 15:13) And may we all feel ‘a thrill of hope as the weary world rejoices.’ If we listen carefully, we might just hear the angel voices sing.
Romans 5:3-4 reminds us that that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Maybe that’s our silver lining to this pandemic. After all, hindsight is 2020.
What a wonderful read to start my day!
Thanks, Mom! I’m glad you liked it.
So glad to find this in my inbox this morning! This was just what I needed. I am a St. Thomas friend of your parents and have read and admired your newsletter in the past. You have great insight. Thanks and blessings to you and your family this season.
Wow, Pam, I am humbled and thankful for your kind words. Thank you for your encouragement. The St. Thomas community has always had a special place in my heart. Blessings and much hope to you and yours this season too!
What a great way to wrap up 2020 that was so difficult and trying and tie it into the ever present hope of advent and the coming of the Christ child who is the constant reminder of God’s deep love for all of us. Thanks for sharing your gift of insight and words that lift us up every time. You are the sweetest blessing.
So thankful for your encouragement and regular reminder of God’s love for us!
Good post La. Like you, I have chosen to find the silver lining in this year. I have always believed that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond and I raise my children with that understanding. The winners in life deal with adversity and find ways to make it a success. The failures in life complain and constantly feel aggrieved. Bad things happen. That is a mathematical certainty. It will happen again. The key to a happy life is have the mindset to turn that adversity to a win and look on the bright side.
Well written post and great mindset La. All the best to you and your family and congrats again to Ry on the exit. Big win!
Thanks, Steven. Your support and encouragement always means a lot to me! I love your mindset and totally agree. Sending love up to your family this holiday season as well!
Lauren, This will preach, baby girl!
Thanks! Huge compliment coming from you!!
As always, I admire your insight and ability to share your thoughts so exquisitely. Hope is a precious gift from God, and I think this Advent season will be very special. Hoping to see you in 2021! 🙂
Thank you, Aunt Anne! I miss and love you!
Love your title, Lauren! And your thoughts, of course. Thank you for sharing them and I’m so grateful for your full recovery. ❤
Thanks for the sweet encouragement from one of my favorite writing buddies!!
You write eloquently. Thanks for sharing you insights with us. Love, Dad
Thank you Dad! I love you!
Variation of gusts, in a variation of boats. My favorite part because we are all in the same vast water, but how we manage the gusts and drive the boat can be different. Enjoyed the read!