Pause

Rest in the Lord and be truly happy.

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Listen

The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing. They will receive the glory of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the Lord’s glory, the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and support the unsteady knees. Say to those who are panicking: “Be strong! Don’t fear! Here’s your God, coming with vengeance; with divine retribution God will come to save you.”

Isaiah 35:1-4

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Think

Several years ago, on my daughter’s 18th birthday, her car burned in our driveway, catching our home on fire as well. I felt defeated. Our home was damaged, she lost her car, and I came to realize we would be displaced for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday just eight days away. I felt as if God hadn’t given me enough.

Then I remembered something my grandmother used to say: “God always gives us enough.” I turned the energy of despair toward God’s gifts. We were given a place to stay, a huge Thanksgiving dinner with family and more. I truly had enough.

When we feel as though our needs are not being met, when we feel as if we are living in the desert, when our hands are feeble and our knees unsteady, remember that we oftentimes feel the greatest joy after a long, difficult time. Whenever you are struggling in this way, focus on the time when the Lord will bless you and make you “rejoice and blossom,” giving you enough.

Kristina Holland

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Pray

Lord, during trying times when I feel as though my thirst will never end, give me strength to look toward the blessings to come. Allow me always to experience your splendor. Amen.

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Go

Go into this day and, with the Lord’s help, choose joy.

Kristina Holland

Kristina Holland has a passion for working with youth and is blessed to be the Youth and Family Ministries Coordinator at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Brevard, NC. A lifelong resident of Brevard, Kristina finds joy in spending time with her twenty-something daughter, working as a college professor teaching English and Appalachian Culture, enjoying the natural world, and practicing mindfulness.

Advent Waiting: Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel

David Burroughs

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