This Advent meditation is part of the Liberti Church 2019 Advent and Christmas Prayerbook, and it is by Liberti member Jessa Stevens.
I started a company six years ago and I truly felt I was following God’s plan for my life. I saw him leading me through challenges, making connections, providing financially. I was filled with hope and motivation. I felt like what I was doing was helping people, healing friends and family. I was doing something I loved that connected me to God and his vision for my life.
If you’ve spoken to me in the last year, however, the road has been more bumpy and more challenging. And surprisingly, though at times I’ve been angry, confused, and discontent with the struggles of this company, I’ve been relying more on God daily than I had when I was praising him for all the ease and fun of this job.
It seems like it’s been forever, but in reality, the past months have been brutal in waiting for an answer from God. “What do I do next? Do I continue with what I thought was your plan? Are you done with this? Do I stop? Give me a sign!”
It feels lonely, though I still hear from God’s patient voice: “Wait”.
“Okay,” I think, “It’s not time yet to quit on it.”
“But I will if you ask me to,” I reply. Partially because that would be a relief, right?! To just end what feels like a waiting in limbo throughout each day.
In Tamar’s case, her call and fulfillment in life was to produce children and continue the lineage of her family. We all know other women in our lives who want children so, so badly and are struggling through the waiting of bearing a child. I can only imagine that she too is asking God, “Why and When?!”: “Why did my husband die? Why couldn’t I get pregnant with his brother? Why is he now dead as well? What is taking Shelah so long to come for me while I wait in my father’s house to be re-married to yet another brother? WHEN WILL I BEAR A CHILD? This is taking so long!”
She was suffering real injustice as Judah, her father-in-law, withheld her last option for a respectable husband. Although in our time, acting as a prostitute and sleeping with your father-in-law seems horribly wrong, Tamar is on a mission to have children in her family’s name, and it ends up being God’s will and way of bringing Christ into this dark world through all the muck of sin.
Tamar is finally blessed with twins and, bonus(!), even ends up restoring Judah’s relationship with his family. His eyes are opened to his sin and Tamar is called “righteous” for her persistence. And this bloodline from Abraham continues on, leading to Christ’s birth—and God’s will to save us.
As we wait through the Advent season for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, I pray that you are encouraged to be steadfast and have perseverance through whatever it is you’re waiting on with the Lord. That the hope of a baby who has come to change everything helps you rely on the God who brought him to live with us, teach us, and save us. And that your life, daily, is spent in conversation (through praise and struggle) with the Father who can do all things.
About the Author: Jessa has attended Liberti for the last 7-and-a-half years and enjoys trouncy around Philadelphia eating and exploring with her husband and two daughters.
Art: Gustav Klimt, Death & Life