Little Thoughts for Advent

Failure and Faith

Day 9 took us to Psalm 119 verse 130: ‘The unfolding of your words give light; it imparts understanding to the simple.’ As we considered how this verse reminds us that as we seek to read and understand the Bible and hear God’s word spoken to us, so it gives us ‘light’; light that helps us to make sense of life around us and light that gives us hope in the midst of a dark world. We also thought of how we need to be willing to admit that we don’t know everything – that we don’t have it all sussed on our own. I don’t believe, though, that God either wants or expects us to have it all worked our – He wants us to turn to Him and seek the light He offers to show us the way.

We turned our focus to Zechariah in the Christmas story and how he must have felt after his encounter with the angel. I can totally understand why he laughed when he heard that his wife was to have a baby. For years they’d waited to be parents and it had never happened and now, he was expected to believe that at a time when she should no longer have been able to have children at all, Elizabeth was to be blessed with a little person!

So often in life, I think that people believe that Christians willingly accept everything that comes their way and totally and utterly trust God and therefore a reaction like Zechariah’s shows a lack of faith and a relationship that is in question. I’m afraid I have to admit that I don’t believe this to be the case. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that faith is absolutely essential but, owing to the whole ‘human’ aspect, I believe that it is not unnatural to question life sometimes. Believe me, I wish I could honestly type that I have never questioned or wondered why some things happen but, the brutal, honest truth is that I have questioned. I have wondered why. I have been very human in my reactions but, I do still believe very strongly that God has a plan and a purpose. I believe that as a people of free will, we are responsible for our own actions (it would be great if we could just simply blame God for it all but, remember, He offers to lead and guide, not control us) and the way we react to situations in life – good and bad – is not always how God would choose us to react in faith, but, how sometimes, our human state means, that like Zechariah, we fail and we doubt.

With time though, Zechariah did choose to trust. He did believe. He did show that although he didn’t understand everything initially, he came to accept and believe and, the speech which had been taken from him in his moment of unbelief, was restored as a public sign that the darkness of his confusion and unbelief had lifted and the message God had given him through the angel had now, with time, given him the light of understanding.

Our carol, was from the Rend Collective Christmas Album, Shining Light Come and Guide our Hearts and our book was from the absolutely adorable Percy the Park Keeper series. Our activity was creating rather unique Christmas trees (que the rice crispies, melted white chocolate, decorations and Smarties!) which, like us, were very unique, far from perfect, but were very beautiful all the same.


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