category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 24

Tuesday, December 21

Genesis 30:1–24; Romans 8:18–30

The look on my wife’s beautiful face was priceless as we lay in the hotel room gazing at our amazing kids sleeping after an eventful day at the amusement park. We spent a few moments reflecting on the wonderful time and all the fun we experienced. It’s hard to believe that specific day almost did not happen. A few years prior, my wife had major complications giving birth to our son. I remember the doctor rushing in the room, panicking, saying that he needed to deliver the baby as soon as possible or she may not make it. Thankfully she survived. Three years later, my wife gave birth to our daughter Skylar. After giving birth, the doctor stated that there were major complications with our child. She was rushed to the pediatric hospital and placed in the NICU.

Trying to cope with a wife who suffered drastic difficulties giving birth and a daughter who experienced problems after birth was extremely chaotic for me. In these two difficult moments the only thing that I could grasp hold of was hope in God. I did not know how things would turn out. In both moments of despair, I prayed that God would hear my cry and sustain me through these difficult times.

Fast forwarding five years after these incidents, our family is in a better place. Our story is relatable to the scripture readings today. To look at the life of Jacob, along with the rest of his family, one could only imagine how anyone could sustain a life that was extremely chaotic and challenging. Rachel’s story is like many who have desired to have something that was meaningful and life changing but were unable for a while to obtain it. For Rachel it was a child. For me, it was a living wife and a healthy daughter. For others, their desire could be a better perspective on life, the removal of loneliness, clarity of purpose, healing from past emotional pain, or hope in grief.

Paul informs us in Romans 8:18 “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” As we wrestle through uncertainty, confusion, and personal struggles, let us be mindful during this time that “all things work together for good.” This is the Good News that all can choose to grasp during this amazing time of Advent. It is the ability to look forward with faith, understanding that “for in hope we were saved.” Like Rachel and many others, I too have spent many days crying out to God. In this Advent season, we find assurance that the same God who “remembered Rachel” and “listened to her” is the same God who remembers and listens to us. In tough times, heartache, challenges, and despair we
are assured that “all things work together for good, for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

Chris Gash
Pastor of New E Church, Shelby, NC
Trustee of Gardner-Webb University; Doctor of Ministry Student

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Advent Reflection: Day 25

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