"'Yes! I am coming soon.' Amen. Come Lord Jesus" Revelation 22:20.
September 11th is a day that is seared in our national conscience. Each year that date stands as a reminder of what life was like before and after that horrific event. Many of us have personal tragedies that mark time for us too. October 12, 2013 is that date for our family. That's the day my husband, Bob, sustained a traumatic brain injury, damaging the communication center of his brain. We live now on the "after" side of that day. Through it all, God has taught me many lessons of trust and I have learned of his faithfulness. Even though Bob is walking, learning to talk, and understanding more and more, October 12th is a sad reminder for us of what life was like before Bob's injury. Our lives are now separated into Before Bob's Injury and After Bob's Injury.
For several years now, there has been a move to rename the most significant marker of time—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. BC/AD—that is "Before Christ," would become BCE: "Before Common Era," and AD, which represents "Anno Domini," which is Latin for in the year of our Lord, would become CE: "Common Era," to make the dating system religiously neutral.
This effort to remove any trace of Jesus Christ from our modern vernacular falls short. Because, whether we call it AD or CE, the world's dating system and western culture is still defined and influenced by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus' first Advent pierced the darkness of our lives. His birth was for his death; his death was for our birth! Jesus makes it possible to live on the after side of our grief. He promises to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with us. He told us, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." Jesus promises to never leave us or give up on us. He clings to us, so we can cling to him! Scripture also reminds us that all things work together for the good of those who love God. Even so, in our sorrows, we usually cannot see how good can come from them. Nevertheless, slowly, God is revealing this mystery to our family. Will we have complete understanding here on earth? Maybe! You never know what God may choose to reveal. And because Jesus loves us, we can have hope here and now, and can look forward to an eternity with God in his Kingdom, where he has promised to wipe away every tear from our eyes.
There's a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien's book, "The Return of the King," that I jotted down and kept close by while Bob was in the hospital those six months. It comforted me, and maybe it will help you too when you find yourself in the midst of suffering. "In the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach."
Come Lord Jesus, come! We await your Second Advent!
*John 1:1-14; Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; John 16:22; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Revelation 21:4
Copyright 2017 - Sarah A. Keith
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