Some people look at trouble in their lives, and in the world, and think that God is testing them.
But God says, “Test my promises. See if I have not heard and answered your prayers in ways you could not have imagined!”
We grow discouraged when our prayers are not answered in ways we had expected. But God acts unexpectedly.
He came down to us, entering our world as a baby, Jesus, born in a manger, born of a virgin. He sent angels ahead of Him to make surprise appearances. He called shepherds to come and see for themselves, and called wise men from far lands to bear witness with their costly gifts. He grew up ordinarily, then did a lot of extraordinary things (miracles) before saving the world in a most unexpected way, by dying on the cross for our sins. Finally, He shook and shocked the world by coming back to life, and by promising to give all who believe and trust in Him forgiveness and eternal life.
Salvation, God’s resounding answer to years and years of anguished prayer, took time and divine creativity. People ‘in the know’ didn’t see it coming, though some rather unconventional people (the prophets) did. Many people today still don’t see it, sadly.
So why would we think that we can imagine, understand or even recognize the myriad ways in which God is at work in our lives, and in the world? Yet when we do see, by the power of His Spirit, how He has worked for our good (as he does in all things, Romans 8:28) we are filled with awe and wonder!
He would have us remember, at Advent and always, that hidden in the ordinary is the brilliant and sublime.
At Christmas God came down from Heaven and was born into humanity, so that the people of the world could touch Him, hear Him and know Him – and know that He had a plan for them and was about to fulfil it.
He knew them and in the same way He knows us – knows where we are, knows what we need. Truly He has already given us all that we will ever need.
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:22-23)