The origin of the word ‘provide’ gives us a different perspective on the word – before-seeing, or foresight. The God who provides is the God who sees ahead. We couldn’t anticipate our circumstances, nor what we would need. Alongside our scrabbling around to get the help we needed, we also found unexpected supplies to help us on the way.
“What comes first: God clashing the stars, so it causes people to act in strange and wonderful ways, or God foreseeing the affairs of men and marking them in the sky?”
This is my second creative piece for Off the Page in the Prepare Them Room series, on hospitality and refugees in the Christmas story.
Read this and ask yourself: do I recognise any world leaders here? And the more uncomfortable question – do I recognise myself here?
in the style of Those Who Wait. It’s called Prepare Them Room – a series of dramatic monologues exploring Advent through the lens of the Holy Family as refugees – and why we harden our hearts against those in need.
Advent is a season that celebrates and marks the discomfort of waiting, as we consider how the saints waited for Jesus’ appearance, and how we long for this world to be restored at Jesus’ second coming.
This is what it means to be a Christian. We don’t freeze our lives as we wait for Christ, as though we must hold our breath until either we die or Christ comes again. There is good to be done in this world, and God’s good gifts to enjoy. And as we enjoy our lives, Christ is still being formed within us. Sometimes we live our lives almost forgetting about Christ. Other times we can feel a quickening in our spirit, as a pregnant woman feels the fluttering of a baby’s first kicks, and we long for a glimpse of heaven.
I started to wonder: can we reframe our experiences in the wilderness? Rather than being a curse, what if spiritual wilderness is a strange blessing?
It’s not a battle: it’s losing your foothold and swirling beneath the waves. You cannot overcome when the hard times come; you are overcome.
This is our reality. But it is not the only story.