Light shines in the darkness. and the darkness has not overcome it.
Last night I went to a women’s ministry event called Night of Joy.
There were cupcakes and hot chocolate and a boutique where all proceeds went to helping rescue women out of sex trafficking. There was music, and best of all, there was fellowship. Siting around a table, catching up with friends I don’t get to see nearly as much as I’d like.
At seven o’clock, we went into the sanctuary, which was packed, and together we worshiped and listened as a sister in Christ spoke about joy.
Not the fickle, fleeting feeling of happiness. But joy. Deep down, in your bones joy. The kind that has nothing to do with circumstances and everything to do with a person.
She talked about the difference between knowing of God, and actually knowing God.
At the end of the evening, she asked the women who had experienced God as comforter this past year to stand.
I couldn’t stand fast enough, because if there is one thing God has been to me this year, He has been my comfort.
Almost every other single woman stood along with me.
She said to raise our hand if we’ve experienced Him as provider.
I rose my hand high.
She asked us to applaud if we’ve experienced Him as Wonderful Counselor, as someone who’s given us clear direction in the midst of difficult decisions.
I cheered. Because oh, have I.
She went on.
Burden-bearer. Healer. Friend. Father. Rest. Savior.
Women cheered. Women rose their hands. Women remained standing.
And then, when she finished, she encouraged us to “go and tell”
Because the world is dark and people are hurting and sometimes, hope is impossible to find.
“Go and tell,” she said, “because this Jesus we worship is too good not to talk about.”
The words are truth.
He is too good not to talk about.
I have seen the risen Savior.
Maybe not with my eyes, but I have seen Him as surely as Mary Magdalene saw Him all those years ago.
He’s brought me joy when there shouldn’t be joy and peace when there shouldn’t be peace. He’s lifted my head. He’s guided my path, especially this year, when we’ve faced impossibly complicated, confusing decisions. Every single time we hit our knees and begged for guidance, He spoke clearly.
It’s been a year of waiting. A year of missing and yearning and longing. Of frustration and concern and confusion.
And yet, it’s been a good year.
Because He truly is close to the broken-hearted.
He means it when he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Do you know this Jesus? This rest-giver, this heart-mender?
I don’t mean do you know of Him. I don’t mean do you go to church. I don’t mean do you call yourself a Christian.
I mean, do you know Him, know Him?
If you don’t, there’s no better time than the advent season to taste and see. To sit and know.
The Bible says that God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.
Well, God promises that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
So friends, let’s draw near to Him this Christmas season. Let’s draw near and see what He does.
How have you experienced God’s comfort, peace, and provision this past year?