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no more gloom – advent


2020 can be summed up in one word: weary.

We are tired. Global economies are struggling, COVID cases are spiking, rumors of a “second wave” and more lockdowns loom overhead, and there doesn’t seem to be a finish line in sight for this marathon we’ve been running.

Besides COVID, lives have been marked with cancer, illness, death, major moves and transition, the day-to-day challenges of balancing work, family, and uncertainty.

It’s been so hard.

Worry and fear have caused weariness.

We are losing hope and faith.

“A thrill of hope…the weary world rejoices.” O Holy Night – Adolphe Adam, 1847

A timely reminder. It was hope that caused the world to rejoice.

When the Israelites found themselves, once again, under duress and hardship, the word of the Lord came to them through the prophet Isaiah. It was a promise. Something they could hold onto. A reminder that they were not forgotten.

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.” Isaiah 9:1

No more gloom.

A thrill of hope.

“You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.” Isaiah 9:3

Their joy increased.

The weary world rejoices.

Christmas looks very different for my family this year. 2020 marked quite a journey for us in every crevice of our lives. There were many moments of grief, loss, letting go, humility, the “hard to understand”, worry and fear. It is a year that pushed us way beyond our comfort zone and caused us to cling hard and fast to Jesus. Most recently we find ourselves in the throws of transition once again. Transition that was not a part of the “master plan” but, as we are discovering, part of God’s greater plan. We left our home in Malawi, all of our “stuff”, and moved to South Africa. We left behind our Christmas tree, stockings, decorations, and all of those very significant things that make the season feel like Christmas. All the things that typically bring us joy.

And yet…

In spite of all the lack, we feel tremendous joy.



Because Christmas has become very real and tangible to us this year. As we have watched the world turn upside down, as we have stepped out into a new season and new personal journey, the One who is the joy of our hearts and the joy of the world has filled each of us with hope and faith.

No more gloom.

Joy has come.

A tiny babe…a small and, seemingly, insignificant beginning, was the beginning of hope…faith…and joy.

There really was something to sing about, rejoice about.

“For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” O Holy Night – Adolphe Adam, 1847

We may not see the grand finale of God’s plan just yet…but the beginning is unfolding.

He has made us a promise.

A deliverer is coming.

A light in the darkness.

Salvation for our souls.

I’ll be honest with you…I had a moment this past week when the weight of the world felt heavy. I felt spent. I was weary. The state of the world seemed hopeless to me.

And then I reminded myself about the promise of God.

The very words I’m typing right now are the very words I began to speak to my heart.

There are a lot of reasons to be weary, but there is One very great reason to rejoice.

Jesus. He came…the prophecy fulfilled.

Jesus. He is coming again…a promise we can hold on to.

During this Advent season, as we contemplate the joy of world, may you – in your weariness – find a thrill of hope.

May your heart be filled with the joy of God’s promise.

May you find rest today.

When all is stripped away…may you still rejoice.

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One Response to “no more gloom – advent”

  1. Tammy says:

    We rejoice with you! Praying for rest, peace & Joy! We love & miss you! Praying for. Merry Christmas a new way!

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