A world in darkness. A world in desolation. While these last days of Advent are filled with expectation, we must not forget that they are also filled with darkness. A world waiting for a Savior means a world waiting in sin and pain. A world filled with hope means a world that is still unfulfilled and empty.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned… (Isaiah 9:2)

Our ancestors waited, knowing they were awaiting a Messiah but not knowing when. They knew he would come in Bethlehem but did not know how. In these last days, we enter into that darkness and longing. We enter into the desolation and desert, because God came to fill that desert. He came as a light in that darkness.

The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. (Isaiah 35:1)

Perhaps this Advent season has not been a happy time for you. Perhaps you have experienced the loss of a loved one. Maybe you are experiencing a crisis of faith or an unexpected suffering. Maybe sin has brought consequences, or maybe you are struggling with depression or a great family distress. Perhaps the holidays are a time that brings back unpleasant memories or wounds.

God is here.

Allow Him to enter. God enters into even our darkest times, our deepest struggles. Like our ancestors who waited in uncertainty, we wait for a Savior. Long lay the world in sin and error pining… That is where He enters.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see God acting whenever it seemed too late: barren wombs were blessed; the yoke of slavery was removed; the smallest nation was given victory. Again and again, we hear the refrain: God remembered His people. These were all mere foreshadowing for the real saving action of God: the gift of His own Son.

Whatever you might be suffering today – great or small – He is here, and He is bigger than that suffering. He enters the desert. He brings light to the darkness.

The ultimate darkness, desolation, and desert came on a Friday afternoon, when God died for you. It came when Mary held the lifeless body of Her Son, wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Even that darkness and desolation was not enough to contain Him. The barrenness of the tomb gave birth three days later. Regardless of what you carry today, know that your Savior is at hand. Your hopes and fears are met – and answered- in Him.

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