May your heart’s desires and all of Love’s plans for you be fulfilled in due season. Psalm 20:41 You heed the heart’s desire, answering the cry of the soul, and you bestow blessing upon blessing. Psalm 21:22
These two psalms, coming one after the other, give the impression that our prayers are always answered in a positive way. The Good News Bible gives Psalm 20 the heading “A Prayer for Victory” and for Psalm 21, the heading “Praise for Victory” implying to some degree thanksgiving for receiving that which was prayed for. Therein lies Hope, some would say. But we know from life’s experiences this is not always the case, perhaps even rarely the case. Our hopes can be dashed and we can feel that pieces of ourselves have been washed up on an unknown and rocky shore.
Wherever we land, however, there is a form of hope that, in time, emerges out of the fog that surrounds us, even if it is just for the landing place and that we have made it that far. As we reflect on our situation, a way forward starts to clarify – inch by minute, by yard by hour and even days, as we cautiously step out through our new surroundings, sensing we are not alone. As we pass each new destination we find ourselves beginning to murmur a word or phrase of praise, however brief and silent, that small victories are indeed coming our way – shreds of hope that we can grasp and pull ourselves along to the next plateau – and the next, and to wherever we are supposed to “be” at that time, all the while absorbing new lesson at each step.
Through Advent we each travel our own road to Bethlehem with its stretches of “under construction”, and where the Hope of all is to be born in each of us yet again. Thanks be to God!
–– Mary L. (Bunny) Stewart
1 Merrill, Nan Psalms for Praying: an invitation to wholeness Publishing, NY 2007, p.32
2 ibid, p. 33