December 2, 2016

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Advent Devotional | No Comments

Friday,  December 2, 2016
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 30:19-26; Acts 13:16-25
By Shanan Tolzin

Psalm 72 spends some time in prayer over the king and the qualities we look for in leadership such as righteousness, prosperity for the people, saving the children and defending the afflicted. We sincerely want these things, but is our leadership qualified to provide them? As I write this in early November, it is clear that our nation is in an uproar and this week before the election, many people say they can feel the increase in stress. I can’t accurately report if there has ever been a time as turbulent as the time we are in currently because with current advances in social media and technology, no other era has been publicized to this extent.

The verses in Isaiah go on to say that the Lord will give you the “bread of adversity and the water of affliction”, leading me to believe that no one is promised an easy life. In these times, one has only to log onto Facebook to see more alarming things in one day than people were exposed to in a year during the pioneer times. Not only that, but I read somewhere that the human body is not wired to tolerate this kind of stress. We have many cases of chronic anxiety and PTSD that can be traced to this relentless onslaught of upsetting news. I, myself, have had to limit my exposure to the news and BBC.com and CNN.com, specifically. Unfortunately, my girls and I happened onto information regarding the extent of the plastic and garbage pollution in our oceans recently, and I recommend you don’t read about the ocean garbage patches if you want to sleep well at night.

In truth, these items would be far too much to endure on my own and do have me leaning extensively on Jesus and on the promises he has made. I also hand over to Jesus a healthy amount of worries and woes. Otherwise, I truly could not sleep at night or handle the amount of anxiety these thoughts bring. As the election grows ever closer, I am comforted by the thought that no matter who is elected president, and no matter their ethics, decisions and other debacles, Jesus is here to help us all through. And not just us, but our elected officials as well. Simply put, he is the one we follow.

I am grateful to be part of the Bethlehem community and wish each one of you a joyous Advent season and a Merry Christmas. We have cause to celebrate no matter what the result of the election! Alleluia!!

 

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