Advent Devotional Introduction (part 3)

On Sunday, November 29th and every day until Christmas, a daily reflection will appear to accompany and inspire readers in their own time of preparation.

Highways in the Desert

by Matthew B. Harper


Part 3

click here to start with Part 1 (in case you missed it)

Prison is full of pain and strife, but that does not alienate God. Prison is full of despair, and that is where God is needed the most. In the world, God is often put aside by false idolatry. People get too busy, and push God aside. But there is no such thing as too much pain, longing, or despair for God. It is often in our pain that God is the most real and present to us. We live in the desert, and God lives here with us.

There have been so very many people in the history of our faith who have sought out the desert for a time. They have left family, friends, and security to travel into the wilderness so that they might seek God. Sometimes they have even formed communities in these places where they could seek and worship God together. I live in just such a place. I may not have made a deliberate and conscious decision to be here, and I could never have imagined the diversity of my fellow brothers, but we live and seek God together.

During our times in the desert it is not just the past memories or future dreams that sustain us. We do not simply think of how God has blessed somebody ‘back then,’ nor do we simply sit around and wait for a second coming. We are sustained in the desert by the very real and constant presence of our Lord and King. It isn’t just that Christ the King saved us; it is also that Christ is a constant presence in our lives and community. We are richly blessed.

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