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Find light in the darkness

The other day I had two packages to ship. There I was, standing in line on a bleak, gray December day, not really thinking of Christmas. As I moved up to the counter and pulled out the addresses to give to the salesman, I glanced at his nametag.

Isaiah. Isaiah.

Sometimes God taps you gently on the shoulder.

Capably, kindly, and quietly, Isaiah was working at the shipping counter. I was struck by the fact that his name was the name of a prophet, a writer who wrote of the future, a person who found beauty and meaning in the present and who had glimmers of what was to come. With a few keystrokes and some skillful packing, this Isaiah was working to ensure my notes and gifts reached my friends. But I couldn’t help thinking of the Isaiah who had foretold a miraculous birth.

“These should be delivered on Tuesday,” Isaiah said, tapping a few keys and gazing into his future-telling screen. I believed him—and I enjoyed God’s little Advent nudge, His reminder that He was with me during this simple exchange.

I swiped my credit card, accepted a receipt from Isaiah, thanked him, and said goodbye. The packages would be delivered. Isaiah would keep doing what he does. And I would continue my journey toward Christmas.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” Isaiah tells us. “Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone.”

During this season, every day is a little bit darker as we inch toward the darkest day of the year. But we continue to look for the light, not just in the candles burning on the Advent wreath, but in the people we meet. They add light to our lives in such beautiful ways. And we encounter God in so many ways, large and small. Advent is filled with light and faith and hope.

Sometimes we discover God in our daily lives when we aren’t even looking for Him. Because as much as He invites us to seek Him, He also never stops seeking us. He wants us to be closer to Him. He sends us little messages, gentle invitations to remember that He is with us, that He loves us.

Those sweet reminders can come at unexpected times and in unexpected ways.

This year, for me, I seem to be finding them wherever I turn. The other day, as I stopped in a sub shop to pick up a sandwich for my son, I saw that the sandwich waiting next to mine was labeled for “Gabriel.” And I smiled all over again.

I hope you’re discovering God in the everyday moments of life, however dark and busy this season can be. I wonder where you’ll see His light tomorrow.

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