“Ask, and I shall bequeath you the nations…” (Psalm 2:8)

This morning, I read this phrase from Psalm 2. While the promise seems to be for the predicted Messiah of Israel, I sensed today that it was being addressed to me…

Advent, that season of anticipation, has begun. The world around us gets into high gear: planning, buying stuff, decorating, all in anticipation of Christmas. People are asking, “what do you want for Christmas?”. For some – many of us, perhaps – the answer to that question is not something one can purchase at a store or online. Our heart’s desire seems out of reach, impossible. Perhaps it’s the restoration of a long-broken relationship, or the conversion of a beloved family member, or a miraculous healing. No matter. Jesus has said that “with God, all things are possible“. As Christians, we believe this, yet unbelief remains in us: “I do believe, help my unbelief!

We’re told to ask, and to persevere in asking. I’m feeling this Advent that God is wanting me to really ask him for my heart’s desire: the salvation of my non-believing family, those “nations” referred to by the Psalmist, those who do not know God. I if course have been asking for many years, but my asking now must somehow be different, more focused on God himself, to whom absolutely nothing is impossible. My prayer must be “a passion for the impossible”, fueled by a profound trust in him and his goodness. A sturdy faith, unwilling to give up.

So I do ask. I ask, Heavenly Father, that you might scoop my loved ones up into your arms and reveal your love to them in unexpected ways. Bring them to the place where the things of this world feel unsatisfying, and they begin to look for something – Someone – beyond this world. Help them to realize that life ends for all of us; that each of us is closer today to our end than we’ve ever been before. Move in their hearts to help them ask that necessary question: what happens after we die? Remove the enemy’s strongholds from their minds, and make room for honest seeking. Open their blind eyes, Lord, and let them see you in the beauty and goodness of creation. Overcome the “deafness” that prevents them from hearing you speak through the circumstances of their lives. Above all, make me a faithful, joyful and compassionate representative of your loving heart for them.

For you are calling them, Jesus, to come close, to get acquainted with you, to open up to the love you so passionately want to shower upon them. Call their names, Lord, and help them to hear your voice! Nothing is impossible for you, Lord. So I will ask, and continue asking, keeping my focus not on the circumstances (which are, after all, disheartening), but instead on your surprising ways. For as I was once told by a wise man, “It’s not over until God says it’s over!”. So I will hope in your ever-new, always surprising ways, those ways that are so far beyond mine.

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