By Abby Deaton, a junior communication major at Goshen College
Reprinted from Advent Devotionals
No one knows the day or the hour when it will strike. For me, it was September 28, 2013, around 2 p.m. No warning. No reason. But on that day, at that hour, I developed an illness, and it has been a battle. My semester at school has panned out very differently than I had planned. My illness radically changed every aspect of my life for the past two months. No warning. No reason.
There is this sense of injustice when negative events happen in our life without warning. We want reasons. We desperately seek explanations for those events because suffering without purpose seems cruel. This seems especially true during the Advent season, when we spend our time rejoicing, when we spend our time reflecting on the word of God. Tainting this traditionally blessed time just seems cruel.
Three weeks ago, my illness took a turn for the worse. Three weeks ago, I had all but lost hope in ever feeling normal again. We are told that we cannot know the hour or “on what day your Lord will come.” Two weeks ago, I began to recover.
Both my illness and my recovery came without warning, but I no longer believe it was without purpose. There are good friends who I would not have met. There were close friends that I would have never understood otherwise. There were changes in my friend’s life that may have never occurred. There were personal revelations I’m not sure I would have come to.
We are asked to prepare for the Lord, to “be ready” for the day the Lord comes. Faith is our best preparation. Faith that God will deliver us from evil. Faith that God is always near. Faith that God has a greater plan. We may not be given any warning, but we are given faith that there is a reason. We may not know the day or the hour, but we can have faith in the outcome.
Matthew 24:36-44 (NRSV)