It has been a heartbreaking year. And it seems like as the end of the year approaches, as Christmas draws near, everything seems to be coming to a breaking point.
Last night in Aleppo people waited desperately for a promised evacuation.
The help never came. The cease fire didn’t last. The shelling resumed.
They cry out in desperation for someone to hear them. For someone to do something.
I would change it if I could…I have written and said those words more times than I can count. This is not how I would have written the story line of this year. Not in Aleppo… and not in my small corner of the world.
This year can be characterized as a year of the unexpected and broken, a year of changes and transitions. Many of them not asked for. Changing friendships, changing home, funerals and hospitals, long drives and late night phone calls.
Some days the losses are too much to take in. Some days it seems like the darkness is winning. There is too much death. Too much injustice. Too many children growing up without their dad. Too many children never growing up. Too many voices silenced.
But I can’t change it.…no matter how often I write it.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
On those days I’ve learned that I have to believe that God has a better plan; that God has a bigger purpose. I have learned that He is faithful to His promises within and through the heartbreak, tragedy and injustice.
And so I will trust that even in heartbreak, loss, disappointment and missed expectations. Even in the injustice and the cries for help – God sees. God hears. God is always faithful.
And He has shown us that time and time again.
Because Christ came down to earth, over 2,000 years ago, 330 miles south of Aleppo, as a child born in a manger.
(330 miles. The distance from Aleppo to Bethlehem. It is also the distance from Minneapolis to Milwaukee. Somehow that detail is important. Making it more real and harder to comprehend.)
He came and lived wholly human, wholly God, so that we may know Him. He came and lived sinless life so that He would pay the cost of our brokenness. He came so that He would die, so that He would rise again on the third day. He came so that we may be whole.
He came because He is faithful in the broken.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
So at the end of a broken year, we pray for His Kingdom to come. (Matthew 6:10)
And we celebrate His wholeness. We celebrate that the promise of Scripture is not that God would remove chaos, but that He is still The Sovereign God in the midst of the chaos. We celebrate His faithfulness.