Whispers of Advent – Luke Chapter 18

From a state of brokenness, she heard Jesus whisper to her throughout the Advent Season.

Her son – her only son –  was ill. It was a strange illness – undiagnosed, puzzling the doctors. One doctor after another. One hospital after another. 

Advent was upon her.  Others were decorating, celebrating. She was not. Broken hearts – troubled hearts – cannot celebrate the Advent of Christmas. Or so she thought.

Perhaps, though, one intentional decision allowed her to see the Hope of Advent – the Hope of the World – the Hope for her son. Perhaps it was the Word, bringing the Whisper, bringing the Hope.

She had decided to read one Chapter from the book of St. Luke every day, a practice that others had completed in years past. Twenty-four days of Advent, through Christmas Eve. Twenty-four Chapters of Luke. It seemed simple enough, and it kept her mind occupied in the Word of God for a short amount of time each day. That quiet time was needed. Her body was breaking, along with her spirit. The dark of every night brought a fright of anxiety. Pacing the house, unable to sleep, unable to focus, unable to even pray.

In those first days of December, she read of the preparation for the birth of the Savior. The true, familiar story comforted her. She heard Jesus’ whispers of love. 

When she read of the Savior’s birth, she brought a large baby photo of her own son into the room where she was reading. She kept the photo in her sight for months, kissing her baby son as she prayed, speaking life over him, pleading and crying to God to heal him – her son who was now a grown man. 

As the days passed, and she read the passages throughout the chapters, Jesus whispered directly through His Word. Her Bible was not a “red-letter edition,” but the words of Jesus stood out as though it was. When asked if Jesus was willing to heal, He responded, yes! “I am willing.”  And He healed and healed and healed – all who came to Him. She took her son to Jesus, the healer, over and over and over, for she knew He was “willing.”

On two specific Advent days, in two specific readings, Jesus confirmed His Word to her. The first was on the son’s birthday, December 11. She was reading St. Luke, Chapter 11. It was a confirmation of the reading from what seemed a lifetime ago. She had memorized this very passage as a rhyme in Sunday School:

Ask, and it shall be given you,
Seek, and you shall find.
Knock, and the door will be opened to you.
Luke 11:9

And as the Lord Jesus spoke those words to the people He was teaching, He was whispering those words to her, as well, reminding her, teaching her, directing her to keep asking, to keep seeking, and to keep knocking. She literally went to the door in the room and knocked, speaking the word as she did so. “Lord, you’re telling me to ask, to seek, and to knock. I’m asking, I’m seeking, and I’m knocking.” And she continued knocking on that door, the one that led to her porch, day after day as she prayed and spoke the Word.

And then December 18 of the Advent season came, and she read St. Luke, Chapter 18. The Lord Jesus was teaching the people about persistence. He spoke of a woman who wanted justice. “She” was that woman who wanted justice for her son, whose health had been stolen. The Lord Jesus was speaking directly to her. He whispered, “Be persistent. Never stop coming to me in prayer. Never stop asking, seeking, and knocking. God will bring about justice for you and your son because you are some of his chosen ones, crying out to Him day and night. Let the Son of Man find faith in you.”

The “red” letters stood out to her again. She was amazed that the Lord Jesus, who knew her heart, her agony, and her desire, directed her to keep praying. She didn’t know why, but she must have “faith” to believe that He knew why. That He cared, that He wanted to keep hearing from her, that He was the faithful one. That He was “willing.” And she knew He was the Christ of this Advent Season. 

It was quite some time before she slept through the frightful nights, before she saw the healing of her beloved son. But she had learned during this Advent Season that Jesus was indeed “willing” and she knew He had taught her to be persistent in her prayer. She knew that He was the Word, the One who spoke the Whisper, the One who brings the Hope.

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