By Dr. LaKendra Hardware, director of diversity, equity and inclusion
This week’s theme: On the road to restoration
Sitting in the morning’s creeping light, I close my eyes for a moment and breathe in the words of a song playing as my backdrop for this devotional writing. Exhaling slowly, I type these words: our ability to find joy at times can become stalled, stilted and stuck when impacted by life. Perhaps, we find ourselves reminded of the losses of lives, fortunes, dreams, hopes, expectations and relationships at a time when we’re being prompted to be joyful in Christ.
Yet, we stumble into the Advent season of familiar stretching toward and reaching for God — perhaps instinctively, if haltingly. As we approach the coming of Christ, we take this time to pause intentionally without rushing. Whether the season finds us personally counting the struggles or collectively trying to sing a song of joy, one thing we can be assured of in this moment. God doesn’t let go of us in our hopes, dreams, hearts or hurts. That is the Good News that finds us on this road to restoration this week.
As we lean into the scriptures and lessons for the week, allow us to be reminded that You are a true source of hope, even in moments of uncertainty and pain. And so we pray: God of all, restore our wonder in You and Your works. Speak to and heal our sorrow, disappointment, dismay, pain and more so that we may continue to find and take great pleasure in You. You know the needs of our hearts. Beyond what limits and hinders us here, continue to be our strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Allow us to be restored to joy and take full delight in Your healing, liberty, freedom, favor, comfort, provision, beauty, splendor and glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.