One Moment at a Time
Thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep;
He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you.
The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or to the left.
The scripture above is from a reading assigned to this day. It is a promise from God to his people. In the time of the Messiah, God will treat them graciously. He will hear them and care for them. He will guide them and show them what to do.
Many of us long to hear God guide us and tell us what to do. We would love to have him walk behind us and tell us when to turn to the left or to the right. Sometimes we feel like he does this. Other times, we aren’t so clear.
I moved here to Nashville ten years ago this very day. I was 28 years old and had served as a youth minister and assistant priest in San Antonio Texas for about three years. I came her with my wife and our little 8 month old baby, Ella. I’m older now, my hair is thinner, my wife and I are closer and know each other so much better. That little baby is now in the 5th grade and has a little sister.
I have never had reason to doubt that God guided us here ten years ago. Certainly there have been many trials. Things have definitely not gone as I could have foreseen. I thought we would live here for four or five years, and then move on to some other church in a different city, and then to another, and then to another. I had no idea that I would leave my previous denomination and start a new church. I had no idea that I would come to love this city and the people in this community so deeply that I now want to stay here as long as I live. No one can see the future. All we can do is, by God’s grace, take his direction in small things as well as large things. One decision, one moment, at a time; choosing to do the next right thing.
You may be in a situation in which you are being called upon to make decisions, or live with decisions that others have made. You may clearly hear God’s voice, or you may be waiting and wondering. In any case, Advent is a time to remember that God is present to you. He has promised to provide for you and guide you if you will open your heart to him and listen to his voice. His provision may be hard to see, and his voice hard to hear. But this is a temporary condition. The Redeemer has come, and he will make himself known to you. One moment at a time.