category: Advent

Advent Devotion: Day 2

Monday, November 28

Psalm 124; Genesis 8:1-19; Romans 6:1-11

This fall has been a time of reflection for Franki and me. With Franki completing the third year of her phased retirement plan and my retirement looming at the end of this academic year, we have recalled fondly many occurrences over our 40 years together.

Watching our three children grow up, make friends and start families of their own, making lasting friendships at GWU, and enjoying the athletic and academic accomplishments of the student-athletes are just some of the memories we will cherish. However, our lives, like many others, have not been without their share of hardships.

I still remember our daughter Danielle so matter-of-factly telling us after she lost her hearing to stand a little farther back when speaking to her so she could read our lips. As parents we were devastated but marveled at how Danielle took her hearing loss in stride.

Over the past several years two of my brothers and both of my parents have gone home to be with the Lord and most recently, Franki’s mother passed away.

In 2017 we had a double dose of adversity visit our lives. On September 16, I was working in the yard before a home football game when I stepped into the street and was hit by an oncoming car when the driver did not see me. Suffice it to say, I missed the Family Weekend game that evening. The following Monday, Franki received the news you never want to hear—she had breast cancer. In a couple of days, our lives went from in order and seemingly perfect to being turned upside down.

As our lives seemed to be falling apart, there was a constant that allowed us to keep things in perspective. The constant was the Lord’s presence. When things are going well, it’s easy to forget that the Lord is there and wants to be in control of our lives.

In today’s passage, Psalm 124, David makes it clear that there isn’t anything we experience without the Lord being present and by our side. David was leading the people of Israel in giving thanks to God for His past help and expressing confidence in His continuing help. Verse 8 summarizes it well:“Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

As we were leaving the hospital in Charlotte following my accident, the song “Even If” by MercyMe came on the radio. The song has powerful lyrics. The chorus, “I know You’re able and I know You can save through the fire with Your mighty hand, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone,” was my encouragement during this challenging time.

Looking back, it’s obvious that God has been in our celebrations and our tears of sorrow. My hope for all of you in the Advent season is that you will be able to find this same type of comfort in knowing that God is your source of hope no matter what comes your way.

Chuck Burch
Vice President for Athletics
Assistant Professor of Physical Education

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Advent Devotion: Day 3

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