Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Thrill of Hope

Have you ever truly listened to the words of "Oh Holy Night"? It is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever written, and I have listened to it and sung it a million times. I could recite the words on command, but last night, as I drove home from a quick trip to Wal-Mart, I actually listened to this song. I am not going to lie. I cried, and not just a few tears. And I did not have to come up with an excuse when I came in the house with watery and puffy eyes since I have a sinus infection.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 'til He appeared, and the soul felt it's worth.

I guess I never thought about the worth of my soul, but to God, it is a valuable posession. I am just in awe thinking about the birth of a tiny child that put a value on my soul. This tiny baby made me worth saving. This sweet boy gave me the promise of life with God, eternally. The knowledge of this gives me hope...

The THRILL of hope, the weary world rejoices.

I have never thought of hope as thrilling until last night. Hope to me has always been a word I have associated with sadness and hard times. You always talk about hope in difficult situations as sort of a light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is something you cling to in dark times. Hope to me has always been a quiet guide to a journey through a difficult situation, but thrilling? Really? Thrilling to me is excitement and adventure. I have never thought of being thrilled in the midst of sadness or fear. But from now on, I want to be thrilled. It makes challenges seem a little less difficult when you place an element of excitement on them.

On a small scale, I am thrilled with the hope of new opportunities for me and my family. This past year, minus one salary, has been a little scary. But thinking about it in this new light gives me the thrill of hope. I am encouraged by this new hope. I know that God has a plan for our family, and I know that if we are not hopeful, God's plan will not be fulfilled.

On a much larger scale, our society has fallen into a dark time. We are at war with other countries and ourselves. We are so concerned with making people comfortable that we do not challenge their beliefs and gloss over the fact that this season is Christmas, not "the holidays". The reason there are holidays at all is because of Christmas. And this Christmas season, I am filled with hope that we will share our message of why we have Christmas at all. I am thrilled in the hope that this world will no longer be weary, that we can all rejoice in the hope of this child that gave our souls worth.

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, Oh hear the Angels' voices.

Though it is raining and cold today, this morning is new and glorious. It is a new beginning for me. I was taken to my knees last night, though not quite an Angel, Kelly Clarkson's voice carrying over my XM radio was enough to thrill me with hope for this holiday season and the year to come.

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