“And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.” (Luke 1:80 ESV)
John was probably about thirty years old when he began his ministry, getting the people of Israel ready for Jesus. Before that, what was his life like? We don’t know. Only that he “grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness.” It sounds like a long, quiet time of growth.
Did his parents live to see it? We don’t know, but since they were already old when he was born, maybe not. They saw their young child grow and become stronger day by day; and that was their joy and comfort. Beyond that, they lived by the promise God had given them—that He would use their son, and that Jesus, the Messiah, was even then living on earth.
You probably have projects like this in your own life—things or people that you care passionately about, but know that you are not likely to see the fulfillment. You may be raising children, or educating people, or planting a church, or shaping a neighborhood. You may be doing something as simple and lovely as growing a garden. Whatever it is, you entrust it to the faithful God who has watched over it, and you, from the beginning. He faithfully promised us a Savior way back in the beginning, and He kept His promise when Jesus was born for us. The same love that sent Jesus will watch over those we love as well.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You know who and what I love. Please keep watch over them, even when I cannot. Amen.
* What long-term concerns do you have?
* Do you ever worry about what will happen when you’re gone?
* How do you remind yourself to trust in the Lord?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on December 17, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved