The Third Thursday of Advent

As we “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ” our joy is sometimes interrupted by sadness.  In fact, it seems to happen quite often.  Maybe it’s our high expectations for this time of year that magnify small hurts, making them seem bigger than they really are.

But statistics tell us that depression often worsens and even that suicide rates are higher in what should be a joyful time of year.

Here’s the thing.  Jesus will never disappoint.  Jesus is love.  Not just the kind of love that we experience with our family or our friends, but a love that’s beyond our wildest imaginations.  A love that would cause Him to die a horrible, painful death to save you and me from our sins.  It’s a love that’s beyond our understanding.

That’s why He never disappoints.  Oh, we might pray for something and not get it.  But He never fails to give us something even better.  We might pray that we don’t lose our job and get laid off anyway.  But then we find a better job than we had before.  As the Garth Brooks song says, “Sometimes God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

If we face sadness or disappointment at this time of year, it’s because we put more faith in people than we do in the Lord.  Let me rephrase that.  We invest more in people than we do in the Lord. Jesus will always be there for us.  He’s the Son of the God who called Himself “I am.”  As it was is in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  That’s our faith.

People, on the other hand, come and go.  We live a finite life.  Eventually we die.  We move away and leave friends and family behind.  Our interests change.  Human beings are fickle creatures.  We disappoint one another.  It’s unavoidable.

I’m not saying we should avoid people.  We thrive on love and so we need one another even though we know that there will be rough times.  It takes a special kind of person to be able to live a solitary life.  What we need is some kind of “disappointment insurance.”  Fortunately for us, we have exactly that in Jesus.

No matter what happens, no matter how depressed or sad we are, we can turn to Him and He’ll be there for us.  One week from today is Christmas Eve when we begin to celebrate the miracle of His birth.  He was born for just one reason.  And nothing that any human being can do will change that.  Hallelujah, He is coming soon!

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