Advent: Faithfulness

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Wedding song

Back in 1923, at the age of 57, the American poet and songwriter Thomas Chisholm penned the following words:

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”

 This went on to become one of the world’s favourite hymns, including Paul’s and mine. As with undoubtedly many other couples, we sang this on our wedding day – proclaiming together with family and friends, “Great is Thy faithfulness”.

Buried dread

I thought I had already figured it out, at least logically in my head: God was, is, and forever will be 100% trustworthy.

And yet, and yet… 31 years later, looking back on that wedding day, I now know there was a secret fear within me; a fear so hidden, it was hidden beyond consciousness.

And I was to only first recognize it once it had gone.

It was a fear of failure, to be more specific, a failure in my faith. The buried dread was that, if a crisis struck, I would collapse like a house of cards. My faith in God would simply not be strong enough.

When crisis hit

When a crisis actually hit, the truth was to be so liberating: Making it through to the other side of personal catastrophe has nothing to do with our strength and EVERYTHING to do with God’s; with HIS love, HIS faithfulness. And, for me, with this realization came a deep release from fear of failure, and fear of the future.

Advent

The Messiah stepping into human history is God’s initiative: it has nothing to do with our capabilities, and everything to do with HIS. It is The Supreme Divine Act of grace, of love, of faithfulness.

This Advent season may we walk into more freedom from fear.

Because His faithfulness is the bedrock of our faith. Not the other way round.

 

First shared with Church Simplified, Manila: https://www.facebook.com/churchsimplified/

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