Advent Day 5 Devotion - "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by Sara Jo Hooper

The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 

Joshua 1:9

For centuries the Children of Israel waited and hoped for the Messiah, the king who would return their nation to the glories of David’s kingdom.  They dreamed of an earthly kingdom marked by material wealth, military power, the trappings of a great nation. Time and again they started over; exile, destruction of Solomon’s temple—nothing extinguished their hope of national greatness. 

Finally, a child was born.  But this was not a royal son; his parents were peasants from Nazareth; he was born in Bethlehem, not in Jerusalem. This was not the Messiah for whom they had waited for centuries.  Jesus’ life and ministry was nothing like what they wanted from a Messiah.  They rejected him.

Like the Hebrews, I can wait patiently when I have hope that everything will ultimately be all right.  But I must never lose sight of the reality inimitably sung by the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want.”  (Click on link that follows to view a 1969 Stone's performance of "You Can't Always Get What You Want": kidneys will never again be healthy, but dialysis promises a moderate level of normalcy in living my life.  I will face serious challenges, including the temptation to give up in despair and bitterness.  The Stones speak to that too, “But if you try sometimes, you might just get what you need.”  My focus now is to work to take advantage of this life-giving process to shape a full life that witnesses to God’s presence with me through whatever happens.  My confidence is in God’s presence, not any specific outcome.

God, we want what we want, and we don’t like getting what we need instead of what we hoped for.   Give me patience with the fact that I’m not in charge of all the details of my life and the confidence to lean into your embrace as I deal with them.  Amen.