Advent, the evidence of faith, hope, and love

The overwhelming feeling of this Advent season is that I must turn back to God. But what does it mean to turn back to God?

Start over.

Reform.

“To reform literally means, not to make a new form, but to go back to the original form…back to that dream-form in the mind and heart of God of what He intends each of us to be.”

Mother Mary Francis

It’s nice to say. But it means nothing if there are no results. There is evidence required. Evidence of faith, hope, and love.

Is my faith in Him real? “Faith is not just a matter of speaking, but it is a matter of believing when it is hard to believe.” This can be tested against daily actions. By following through on things, even if I don’t fully understand them, but simply because He said so and I trust that He is good.

Is my hope in Him real? The task here is giving all anxieties over to God. I don’t want to. I have a million questions. I want to hear the solutions first, and then decide if I will hope for the outcome. But hope is real when it is still there, even when there is no human explanation for it to be there. Another word for this in action…prayer.

Is my love for Him real? How many examples of true love do I need? It’s so ingrained in the human heart, simply look at any and every love story ever told. True love doesn’t quit. It simply will not give up. It is proven by endurance through hardships. It will not be conquered even by death, it goes on into eternity.

“You can’t hurt me. Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords.”

Princess Buttercup, The Princess Bride

O my soul, I hear your protests. I shouldn’t have to prove anything! And yet, you already do. You are human, soul and body. It is hard-wired into you to manifest thoughts into some kind of physical proof of everything. Sometimes tangible, sometimes intangible. But simply look at what has taken over nearly an entire room in your house. A beautiful mess of paper and tape and boxes. A physical representation of time spent on Christmas gifts for loved ones. Deciding, ordering, buying, wrapping, shipping, giving. What is all this but evidence of effort in valued relationships? Don’t be confused and frustrated about whether the final item is enough. Where true love exists, the item doesn’t matter, the other person won’t care. I’d rather wrap up a picture of the messy effort of that room because it is better evidence of my love. But it is evidence all the same.

And so, knowing you are meant to do this, do it first for Him. He is the One who made you. He is the One who is coming. Give Him your time spent on reforming into His original thought of you.

Where is your faith in Him weak? Strengthen it with follow-through.

Where is your hope in Him lacking? Will it to stay there.

Where is your love for Him absent? Refuse to give up.


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