December 7, 2017
Posted: December 07, 2017
A Devotion for Your Day
by Sarah Bane
The exiles from Babylon had returned. God had acted, delivering on a promise to restore the Israelite's nation. Other nations were in awe of the God of Israel who seemed to hear the people's cry and did something about it. When all felt too good to be true, the Israelites cried out as a community for God's restorative work to continue and not feel like what God had done in the past was just a distant dream. In their expectation for God's continued action how were they capable of finding - of all things - joy?
What emotion does anticipation evoke for you? For me, anticipation brings on such a mixed bag of emotions! I can hardly stand it when there's a present under the tree with my name on it. As a senior in high school, every trip to the mailbox was loaded with apprehension as I opened letters from the colleges I had applied to: did I get in? Concerned for hurricane victims earlier this year, my constant prayer petition was, "Lord, when will the rain stop?" We beg of God to deliver when the expectancy is high.
But, is JOY ever the emotion? How is it that the Israelites could joyfully expect God to act on their behalf again? I think it's because they knew what God was capable of and rejoiced in their assurance. Their faith rested in a dependable, trustworthy, and fruitful God. So even despite feelings of distress that tend to accompany us as we wait for God's response, the Israelites show us how our communal cry can still be one of joy in the wait.
Lord God, be near us in our waiting. We know your loving and dependable character intimately, so help us to seek joy when our natural response might be distress in times of expectancy. Thank you for the gift of faith. Amen.
Sarah Bane serves as Youth Director, and works with middle school and high school students.
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