Advent Devotion for Wednesday, December 18

By Paul Easterday

Read Malachi 3:1-4

I hate losing things. It makes me feel like my life is a chaotic, disorganized mess and for someone who loves order, that is an issue. My gut reaction is to hunt relentlessly until I’ve found what I’ve lost. To tear the house apart until I have what I need–especially if the object in question is my keys. Yet so often it seems that I only find what I’m looking for when I’ve exhausted all hope of ever finding it.

What are you looking for this Christmas? Are you looking for a certain feeling or experience? Oftentimes we have a picture in our heads of what Christmas should look like and feel like and we spend our lives trying to fit Christmas into that box. The ideal Christmas receives definition from various sources–perhaps a memory, perhaps an imagined future, maybe both. We judge the success or value of a particular Christmas season by how well it measured up to that expectation.

“Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. Suddenly. Not “right now” or “just when you might have guessed” or even “doing exactly what you expected Him to.”

You might feel like the perfect Christmas has been lost for years or maybe has never even come, but Christ’s work in our lives often presents itself in ways we don’t expect and maybe even after we’ve exhausted all hope of ever finding it. Through God’s grace we are promised that He is working in our hearts the entire time, forgiving, loving, and restoring.

We pray: God, we often expect and even demand that You work in our lives how and when we want You to. Yet You know our needs more than we do and You have promised that You will never leave us. Throughout this Christmas help our hearts to be open to the work You are doing in our lives. Amen.