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Women of the Advent | February 11, 2021

One of my favorite songs to discover this past year is I Will Fear No More by The Afters. There’s one verse that says:
 
I will lift my eyes, I will lift my cares
Lay them in Your hands, I’ll leave them there
When the wind and waves are coming, You shelter me
Even though I’m in the storm, the storm is not in me.
 
At the beginning of the pandemic, as I faced the new world of practicing mostly telemedicine, I would often quip to my patients: “Well, God is reminding us that if we thought we were in control, we surely are not!” This would sometimes be returned with a laugh – a brief balm to the building anxiety and fear in each of us – as things that were once so certain, so permanent, and so trustworthy were crumbling around us. As the months rolled on, both the literal disease of Covid and our country’s deep-rooted cancer of racism were laid bare – leaving countless casualties in their wake.
 
For most of my life, I’ve had the privilege of being able to choose when to pay attention to death, destruction, and much of the ugliness of sin in the world. Honestly, I‘ve tended to choose when to acknowledge the sin within me, too. Often, I can convince myself that the world is mostly pretty good and that I’m not that bad.
 
But this pandemic season, more than any season in my life, has opened my eyes to see the reality that the world is fallen, that I am deeply sinful, and that things are NOT as they should be. I’ve grieved for the death of patients and their families, for friends who have lost loved ones, and for the fracturing of relationships because of political or philosophical differences. Yet, I’m also reminded that we’re not left in this mess alone. God grieves right along with us and has promised to fully restore all broken things and bring us into perfect fellowship with him and his people.
 
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore […] ‘I am making all things new!’” (Rev 21:3-5)
 
God has not yet made all things new, nor does he say that he will make all things new only in Heaven. He is right now making all things new. Though the trials of this life, he is sanctifying us and all of creation. And because of his grace and mercy, we can feel the tension of the world feeling chaotic while also resting in the knowledge that he is certainpermanenttrustworthy, and fully in control.

In Christ,
Jill Marsh

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