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I really wanted to write a cozy little post about Christmas joy.
But, as I sat down to write and prayed...my heart was led differently.
Before Jesus was born, many had been waiting for Him-The Messiah-for decades after decades. Many would die never seeing or knowing when His coming would finally arrive.
When the prophets stopped prophesying at the end of the Old Testament, there was total darkness for 400 years. Not physical darkness, but spiritual darkness.
In the past year, both of my children have been through some hard times. Both found it hard to see that anything good could come out of the situations they were in.
As a parent, it is very hard to watch your child suffer. You want to take the pain away, but you cannot.
I wonder if that is what God was enduring as His people waited...for so long.
Suffering is brutal.
Watching your children suffer is a whole different kind of brutal.
I told a friend recently that watching your child suffer is like someone taking your insides and twisting them up in all different directions.
Suffering is physical. It does a number on our bodies.
God's people sat in total darkness.
Galatians puts the birth of Jesus like this...
But when the fullness of time had come...
So, something had to take place first.
The people had to be ready.
Everything had to be in order.
The time had to be ripe.
Could it be the same with our suffering?
As I watch my children suffer, I see a transformation taking place.
I see their hearts softened in a new way.
I see any ounce of pride turn into humility.
I see self-centered turn to empathy.
What if I would have protected them from all of that?
What if I jumped in and put a barrier around them and was somehow able to ease their self pitying demands of justice?
I remember when Joseph was little.
I read a story about a butterfly.
It begins as a caterpillar.
Then, creates a cocoon around its body.
Metamorphosis takes place.
A struggle in the cocoon takes place.
A little boy walking by sees the struggle and grabs something sharp to help the struggling butterfly.
He felt sorry for the poor struggling butterfly. He just had to set it free.
Little did the boy know that the butterfly would now never fly.
The struggle in the cocoon is what it would need to develop and strengthen his wings.
The butterfly would limp for all of its days now.
The cocoon was opened too soon.
So often, I am reminded of this story.
The struggling, the suffering, the pain....
In the fullness of time, something beautiful will come.
If we try to change the fullness of time, or jump in before the time is ripe...
We never get to experience or let our children experience the full metamorphosis of change.
What are you enduring this season?
What suffering is taking place in your heart or the heart of a loved one?
I encourage you to read 1 Peter. It may shed light on suffering. It sure has for me.
Jesus was the long awaited answer to God's people. He was their long awaited HOPE.
He is our answer too.
He is our HOPE.
Suffering seems eternal while enduring it.
But, the fullness of time always comes.
The butterfly always emerges when left cocooned in God's protection and care.
Be encouraged, precious friend.
A change is taking place.
Pray. Lean in. Quiet your heart. Listen.
He is doing a work that only can be done through suffering.
The Light will dawn.
In the fullness of time.
it is well,
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