category: Advent

2023 Advent Devotion: Day 8

Advent 2023 cover

Sunday,  December 10

Isaiah 40:1-11; Mark 1:1-8; 2 Peter 3:8-15a

Have you ever lost your voice? Last year, my two young boys had a cold and had to stay home from school for a few days. They recovered and returned to school, but they left a present for me as their mother: a cold that morphed into laryngitis. I completely lost my voice for three days. The only problem was I am a professor and had three full days of lecture prepared. Needless to say, I felt like my entire world had to be changed. My lectures had to be rescheduled until I could speak again. My children could not understand what I was trying to communicate since they could not hear me (although I could still clap loudly to get their attention).

I am very thankful that God never loses His voice. He speaks and He speaks clearly and loudly. Isaiah 40:1-11 contains 17 references to speech. “Say,” “speak,” “call,” “voice,” “mouth” and “word” are used multiple times in the text emphasizing the importance of speech. God always speaks and His word speaks clearly, but how well are we listening to His voice? How well can we discern His voice from the world’s loud distractions?

During the Advent season, life can be very busy, cluttered, and loud. Emotions tend to run high and raw. Schedules are usually full of events, gatherings, and work. How thankful I am for a God who even during the cluttered and loud times tenderly speaks and calls us to Him. Isaiah 40 begins with “Comfort, comfort my people, SAYS your God.” He is a tender shepherd who brings comfort to His people, as stated in verse 11.

God’s voice is not only a call to listen but also to action. Isaiah 40 is referenced in Mark 1:1-8 as John the Baptist “prepares the way for the Lord.” There is a call to action as we proclaim salvation, repentance, and forgiveness. God speaks clearly in the Word that He alone is our salvation, our hope, our anchor, and our joy. During this busy season of life, may we be people who act when we hear the voice of the Lord to minister to those around us.

Not only does God’s voice never go silent, but He speaks and acts in His timing. I am fully convinced that the grace of our God is always on time when we need it. Second Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise. Instead, He is patient with you.” Doesn’t this promise give us great comfort in a time of turmoil?

Maybe you are in a time of deep grief. Maybe you are in a time of confusion, anxiety, and hopelessness. Maybe you are in a time of loneliness, rejection, and deep pain. If so, I pray this season is a season where you begin to hear our precious Lord speak “comfort” to your heart. May we truly say, “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).

Allison Shamblin
Assistant Professor, Principal Faculty Physician Assistant Studies

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 7

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 9

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