Unfailing Hope: Devotion Eight (Plus Bonus Devotion!)

The season of Advent began yesterday. Every year, it feels like the enthusiasm to celebrate Christmas creeps sooner and sooner, perhaps even starting after Halloween. As much as I love Christmas' promise, the season of Advent is one of profound spiritual meaning and offers a healing of its own.

Advent is a season for those waiting for the promise, for those grasping for a light to come in the darkness. It knows the pain and fear of the almost but not yet. It therefore also knows the power of the hope that is to come. The following devotion challenges us to consider how Christ's promised light can meet us in our parenting.

Day 11
“In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:4–5
Being a responsible parent means we must parent even when we sometimes feel like a child and are in need of a tantrum! It can push us to our breaking points, when every ounce of patience, will, and emotional energy feels spent. We feel like we’re not enough. But the good news is that we simply weren’t designed to be enough. In our darkest times and weakest moments, the grace and light of Christ can shine the brightest. I’m discovering that parenthood at its best is not something to muster and surmount; it’s an act of surrender. When I end and Christ begins, my family sees the miracle. One little light is enough to find our way in the darkness; Christ’s light can and will find us, and it has the power to lead us through. Today, cling to that light as you parent; allow it to shine upon any place you feel hopeless or discouraged.
Further reading: John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 12:8–10

Remember, if you are enjoying this series, you can receive the whole collection of 31 illustrated and professionally edited devotions free to your inbox by following the prompts here!

Bonus! I also wanted to share a devotion from a pastor friend. He wrote it several years ago on the same verse from John with a fatherly tenderness and insight that's worth sharing. Here is Pastor Ian Rankine's reflection. Advent blessings!

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:4

I have four small children, and there are times at night when someone cries and I have to get up out of bed and stumble through the dark to see what is going on. In the bedrooms, with their room darkening blinds, there are times when the darkness is palpable. So dark in fact, that although I can hear the crying, I have no idea which way up the child is lying in the bed.
I have a wristwatch that has a little light on it. When I push the light button on my watch, even as dim as that light is, it gives me just enough light to see by to find out what is going on with the little one. 
It is truly the dimmest of lights, but when it is on, the darkness is cast aside. 
Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” He is “The Light of all mankind.” 
If even a tiny light on a wristwatch can dispel the darkness around it, consider the power and extent of the brightness of this One who is the Light of the World. 
Whatever darkness you may find yourself in, or whatever darkness may be inside you, it cannot overcome the light of Christ.


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