Editor's note: "A pandemic advent: the arrival of a Savior for all" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Ann Arbor community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God's Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound anticipation and zeal through the Holy Spirit.
December 23 – The God of our past, our present, and our future
Isaiah 43:25–44:20, Revelation 11:1–19
Review the past for me. Isaiah 43:26.
I have a thirty-year old daughter Jhourdan with some cognitive and physical limitations. At one point, it seemed as if every time I took her to Children’s Hospital, we left with a new diagnosis; and I came home feeling overwhelmed by how I was going to deal with the new challenge. I remember vividly sitting on my couch and simply crying after one appointment.
When Jhourdan was eight years old, we traveled to Baltimore for a second opinion. While there, as I saw children that had medical issues that were far worse than ours, I suddenly recognized how blessed we were. After three days there and a whirlwind of tests, it was concluded that Children’s Hospital was on the mark with my daughter’s “medical challenges,” as I call them. I distinctly remember what one of the doctors said. “Jhourdan is like a car on the freeway. She starts off like the rest, but eventually, she will lag behind.” On the way home, I cried again, requesting help and strength from God. This prayer never stops, especially in regards to Jhourdan.
In Isaiah 43, we read, Review the past for me. I know that when asked to do this, we all have regrets and fears. People do not want to look back or reflect on past behaviors, relationships, or bad decisions. Yet when God invites us to “review the past,” He wants us to see what He has brought us through and to where He has led us anew—changed individuals, answered prayers, and blessings, great and small, so that we can tell our story, share our testimony, and help somebody else.
In a favorite song, I Have a Testimony, the lyrics share, “As I look back over my life and I think things over, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed. I have a testimony.” When I review the past that Jhourdan and I have been through, instead of crying, I smile, knowing that we have truly been blessed. I can only and always say, “Thank You, Father!” This Advent season, I remind you to review the past and recall God’s faithfulness and goodness in your life as well.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.