There’s something that has always fascinated me about driving through a long, dark tunnel. I remember as kid growing up in Houston being so excited when we got to drive through the long underwater tunnel through the ship channel. It was probably from watching too many movies, but there was something about the journey into the unknown that was exhilarating. It felt dangerous, like an adventure. There was excitement in the risk; there was a “thrill of hope” as we anticipated the light that waited for us at the end; there was a small sigh of relief when we finally exited the tunnel. Whew! We made it. We weren’t crushed by the weight of the ocean above our heads.
The season of Advent is like driving through a long tunnel. It is a time to be expectant for what is to come, for what lies ahead in the distance. It is a season to look forward to the glorious light. To know that there is an end to the darkness.
In many ways, the year 2020 has felt like an endless, dark tunnel, and it has been hard to be optimistic and hopeful at times. We need to lean into the spirit of Advent and try to not just focus on the darkness of our present circumstances. Let us “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus saw the joy that awaited him at the end of the tunnel, and now we have the hope and joy of Jesus our Savior that awaits us.
Just as the light at the end of a tunnel grows as we get closer to it, the light of Advent grows each week as we light an additional candle. It is a reminder that this is not the end. No matter what struggle you are going through, no matter how difficult or hopeless your situation seems, there is something greater that is coming.
Lord, help us to not lose heart. Remind us in this season that our momentary afflictions are preparing us for a weight of glory beyond all comparison. Let us look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen; not to the things that are temporary but to what is eternal. Amen.
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
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