Editor's note: "An uncommon Advent: the arrival of a Savior in our lives" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin 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 – Our God is in charge

Isaiah 43:25-44:20 and Revelation 11:1-19

Life can be full of uncertainty. This is especially true for college students developing and exploring their identity in a new place, among new people, and with new challenges. Years ago, as an 18 year-old freshman, I ventured off to college as a softball player: a facet of my identity intrinsically tied to who I was. A few months into that year, I faced a career-ending injury. Suddenly, I was confronted with a future that diverged completely from the path I envisioned for myself. No longer was I “Tori the softball player.” Now, I was just “Tori,” forced to re-examine my sense of identity and forge a new path. There was no “ah-ha” moment, and the path forward was filled with bumps, twists, and turns.

It is in times like these—when we are faced with challenges that seem insurmountable, when the path we should take is uncertain, when we face a great or significant loss—that we must turn to our faith. In Advent, we recognize that the path Mary and Joseph trod to Bethlehem—figuratively and literally—included much uncertainty as well.

One message that rings true throughout today’s chapters from Isaiah and Revelation is that God is in charge. Despite what may happen around you, despite the unrest or uncertainty you may feel, there is a larger plan for you and your life. When we remember this simple statement – God is in charge –we can re-frame through faith how we view the challenges we face. Armed with this refrain on our minds and hearts, we can approach uncertainty with a sense of peace rather than trepidation. There is a plan for us, one we may not fully understand at this time, but one revealed to us when the time is right.

In Revelation, God is described as “the Almighty.” In Greek, this translates to pantokrator, which can be explained as “the one with His hand on everything.” What a wonderful way of seeing who God is! When the pressure of uncertainty, or disappointment, is weighing us down, we should reflect on this. While we may not understand what our path should be, God does. And as we soon welcome the baby Child, in whose little hand rests the power of the universe, we recognize that God is in charge.

Dr. Tori Negash is the Director of the Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services and the ADA Coordinator. She has served at CUAA since 2018. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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