[Amanda Cox was born in Regina and surrounded by the love of those at Glen Elm from the beginning. She spent the first three years of marriage in ministry with her husband Caleb in the Denver, CO area. She is currently living in Brownwood, Texas, enjoying being close to her in-laws and staying home with their 15 month old, Kenna. Amanda’s spiritual journey has taken her to many different places but Glen Elm will always be HOME!]
Throughout Advent, our intent is to remind ourselves to live in anticipation of the return of our Savior, Jesus, as promised in scripture. This “reminder” can bring an undercurrent of other feelings- disappointment in ourselves for not being diligent to live this anticipation year-round, hope and gratitude to God for His plan of salvation, stress over the events and obligations of the next four weeks, or maybe a hunger to find where God is working in your life or in the world around us. Maybe this season, you are longing for the Savior of the world to be closer to you, in every breath throughout each day.
In Psalm 27, the writer declares with militant proclamation,
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”
With bold confidence, he declares victory over any future enemy:
“When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”
Despite the psalmist’s recognition that life will bring its share of foes and battles, he pleads with the Lord to allow him to dwell within His house. The author hungers for God’s presence in an intense, personal and intimate way.
For the five weeks between American Thanksgiving and Christmas, my husband is the volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army Kettle Program. We are living in a town of roughly 30,000 people where the local Salvation Army branch served over 260,000 meals in 2010. Every day, every meal, every volunteer ringing bells in “frigid” 35F weather, is God shouting to this little community, “I AM here!” This has been a resounding reminder for our family that despite our current situation of unemployment and wondering what is next for our ministry, His breath is inside us and His work is visible every day. This is made evident to us every day by one willing to simply ring a bell.
In “Talking Back to God,” Lynn Anderson states, “When we discover our hunger for God, we learn how to fill ourselves with God, not everything else. Our circumstances can drive a wedge between God and us—or they draw us closer.”
May your circumstances this Christmas season draw you closer to our Lord, allowing you to “gaze upon His beauty” and see Him at work, even in the small things!