When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
There are a lot of things that bring joy into Advent. For some, it may be presents; for others, it may be seeing family. But I have learned that my biggest joy comes from growing in my relationship with God. Because the truth is we wouldn't have any of the joys of Advent, or of life, without God.
Now, I know that we can sometimes try to make this too simple, when, in reality, it can be very hard to walk the road of faith in Jesus. I don't think we should just tell people they should thank God more than usual during Advent. Instead, I think we should look at the obstacles that we face in following God. If you want to grow in your relationship with God, you have to ask questions, be curious, and work out theories and ideas in order to overcome those obstacles. We don't have to do this. God doesn't make us, but being able to ask questions and find answers is part of the joy of really learning more about God.
In this adventure of growth and learning more about God and myself, I have found a few "whys" that help me keeping going down the road, even when it is hard. The number one reason for me is knowing that God loves us unconditionally. This made Him send His only Son to die for us. There are so many other things He has done for me: He has given me a connection to my church community and family. He gives me freedom to be myself. He has provided the way for me to know Him.
This Advent, I encourage you to find your own "whys" for following God's path and growing in your faith. Then we can spread joy as we journey along.
Dear God, help us to find our own reasons why we follow You, so that we can know fully, even as You fully know us.