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Are You Longing for Something?

Students in a play

Are You Longing for Something?

by Pastor Matthew Sullivan, Director of Campus Life

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.” A friend of mine from college for a very long time wanted to become a nurse. She went through much of the formal training needed to become an RN. She was a whiz in all of our science classes and seemed very academically well-suited for this type of calling. But as she shadowed in the hospital during one of her internships, she realized just how much of nursing required good listening. Nursing would require her to patiently ask questions and respond to her patients’ needs, and hone the skills needed to be a good listener and therefore quality caregiver. This was just not her strong suit, and she did not enjoy that part of the nursing profession, at all. She ended up changing career tracks completely.

 All of us have good things for which we wish. Even deeper than wishes are the longings of our hearts. We all have situations in our lives that are not as we want them to be, and this can cause great heartache. With the Apostle John in his Revelation, we cry, “Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!” We long for a relationship to be healed, for a job situation to be made less difficult, for one of our children to not have to experience pain, for the news cycle to bring a smile to our face and not a scowl. Christmas is coming soon, and we remember that the Lord sent His Son to rescue and renew. But are we ready? It could very well be an overwhelming experience for many of us! We SAY we want more of God’s presence in our lives, but if we’re honest with ourselves, are we ready for that?

 As we enter this season of Advent, the Lord invites us to prepare our hearts for what He has in store for us: His Son, Jesus, in all of His fullness. Our hearts, however, are so hurried, so distracted, so not ready. These four weeks of Advent were wisely set aside by the ancient Church to allow God’s people to “do the needed work” of soul care and restoration. Don’t let this season go by in the rush to get to Christmas. Here is a gift for you: to have space to “prepare the way of the Lord,” as in the Christ Child, He might enter your heart afresh. I hope you get a chance to visit chapel over the next few weeks, as our students lead us in lighting the Advent Wreath and singing, “O Come, O come, Emmanuel.” It does my heart good each and every morning, helping me make “room in the Inn” of my heart.