Fourteen Decembers ago, I fell down the stairs. People sometimes talk about traumatic events as experienced through a surreal slow motion reality at the time. That would perfectly describe how it played out for me.
Returning from a late church meeting, I longed for rest. While snuggling into my cozy layers of protection for my body , I awoke to the high pitched voice of my toddler from the top of the stairs son beckoning me. Our bedroom was in the basement in the not completely renovated lower level (read that as concrete stairs), As I was concerned about his possible fall, I sleepily climbed up to grab him and bring him down.
However, as I held him in my arms and attempted to take the trek back down, I realized quickly that something went wrong. Fear erupted as I felt my foot hit air when it should have made an immediate connection with cold cement. In what seemed like a few minutes (but was likely a few seconds), I scrambled to make sense of what was happening and how to resolve it. Fearing that my son would hit the cement floor, I turned my body to soften the hit.
Fortunately, he did not sustain injury. I did.
My broken shoulder commenced a nine month journey into waiting-for physical and emotional restoration. The pain pierced through my body. Waiting for something for which you long but in which you have little control is hard.
I also realized that my spirit was in need of attention. I’m not good at waiting. Trusting in God’s character rather than grabbing toward my tendency to a always be in control challenged me.
As I reflected on my experience that happened during Advent, the connections were not lost on me. Waiting. Longing. Envisioning.
The Israelites knew a bit about these things. The hope of a Messiah. A King. A Deliverer, A Restorer was held up generations deep. They embraced God’s promises as the prophecies were repeated. Hope dangled in front of them as they witnessed God’s presence reminding them that they were never forgotten, through word and action.
But lifetimes went by. Unexpected twists and turns to the vision they held in their minds threatened to detour them toward discouragement. When will fulfillment take place?
Waiting for something for which you long but in which you have little control is hard. It reminds us of our humanity; broken in body, mind, and spirit. True restoration can only originate from Heaven.
So we hold on to hope-one that is generational deep. Waiting. Longing. Envisioning.
My shoulder is not completely healed. I lost cartilage that can never be replaced. The amount of movement is limited. I can’t do a backstroke very well but I can live with that. Jesus meets me in my brokenness yet I know that these moments are blips on the journey. Experiencing the fulfillment promised in Jesus will take a lifetime. Actually more than that.
“Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing’s left undone—not so much as a word.” Joshua 23:14
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