It’s not Christmas yet, I can’t write about Christmas and yet I want to. I want to talk of the Immanuel, of God with us. I want to talk of light and hope and truth come in human form. But it’s still November, the nights are dark, it is dark as I write this at twenty past one in the afternoon, there is a heaviness in the air. There is a tiredness as we adjust to the reduction in light and deal with wind and rain.
There is also within me a sense of how out of control I am in this world, a sense that like a paper bag tossed around by the wind, I too am out on a stormy sea with waves around. This is not unique to me, friends and family are out here too battling their own storms. I want to skip to the end in each of these situations, I want to know that we’ll end up on land in a cosy cottage with a roaring fire, glasses of red wine in hand and courage to laugh at what we’ve come through.
I want to at least write of the coming King, I want to leap over the darkness and get to the light. Life however isn’t set up like that. God is as much concerned with the times and circumstances we are in as the ending. There might not even be nice tidy endings. Lord of the Rings is a film that has at least 6 or 7 endings, some of which aren’t nice happy joyful scenes. Reading the book highlights that more starkly as the Shire is burnt to the ground and Frodo receives a wound that will never heal. Not everything works out OK in the end, sure we have a Final Ending to look towards but in the everyday worries and concerns we have no control, we don’t know what will come to pass. These dark times are very real.
And so we sit in darkness, and so we are battered by the waves. How do we live? We can live in fear of all that lies around us, we can live in terror, we can try and control the waves or we can try and predict the waves. We can try to do all we can to hold things together, but just as staying awake on planes and concentrating hard won’t keep them up in the air so we can’t, by focusing our efforts, control the storms of this life. We just end up more tired and weary than before.
I can’t control so many things in this life, I can’t know the future, I can’t know that everything will work out. But I can know the one who does. I can know the one who walks in this storm with us, who holds our hands in today and asks me to look at him today, to love the people around me today, to ask for wisdom today, to not take things into my own hands today, to know he is near today. Tomorrow, tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own. Today God is near and his hands are bigger than mine, his love is deeper than mine, his ability to redeem far outstrips my small efforts to help people change. He is here in the storm Today.