Be Still and Wait [Day 9]
- December 10, 2019
- Beth Gianopulos
When I was young, Advent was a time of joy. My heart would nearly burst with compassion and love as I raced toward Christmas. However, as I have grown older, Advent has changed for me. I have witnessed suffering, evil, betrayal, and heartache. I have also felt deep loss, and I have watched people I love grieve the loss of children, parents, and friends.
I have wondered, what does this season of waiting and anticipation mean to me during the dark, cold nights of loss and longing? What hope and joy can be found?
During these times, I do not understand God or the world that I live in. In the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis imagined what Christ may have been like in Narnia. Early in the story, the children are trying to understand who, or what, Aslan is. When one of the children asks, “Is he – quite safe?” Mr. Beaver responded, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Like the children of Narnia, I long to be safe. I want my faith to be safe, and I want the world to be good. At a minimum, I want to understand why bad things happen, and the meaning of it all. However, much about the world is unsafe and chaotic. Even more disturbing, little about the world makes sense. For each answer I find, many more questions arise.
When I study Christ’s life, I realize how many people tried to describe him, yet words fell short. How does anyone describe the savior of the world with words and names? He was described as the Lion of Judah, but he was also described as a lamb. He was called the great high priest, but he was also called the good shepherd. He was descried as a holy servant, yet he was also called the head of the church. It is this inability to fully understand every aspect of who Christ is that makes me feel like Christ is not “quite safe.” Yet, despite my inability to comprehend the fullness of this mystery, I know in my heart that Christ is good.
As I move through this season of Advent, I know that I will need to sit in the stillness and wait. I will need to wait with my feelings of despair, discomfort, and anxiety. As I wait, I pray that I will make peace with the things in life that I do not understand. I am reminded that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9. I may not fully understand, but I know that Christ is good, “[a]nd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.