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Advent 2012 Devotional #3: Finding Hope

Our Advent Devotional for Friday, December 7th was written by the wonderful Zoey Murzyn!  Zoey is a junior here at TCU, studying Sociology and Religion.  I realize that there’s a good chance that as I introduce her to you, there is a strong possibility that you already know her.  She is a well-known and loved presence at TCU, and she is highly involved in so many aspects of campus life such as her leadership with the Catholic Community and Better Together.  I first met Zoey last semester when she came to meet with me about getting involved in interfaith work here at TCU.  About 2 months later she accompanied me and 9 other students to San Francisco on the Interfaith Service and Study Trip.  I quickly observed her ability to connect and genuinely love all people – regardless of how different from her they might be.  She embodies the unconditional love of God in everything she says and does, in a way that seems so effortless and natural.  To be in her presence is to know and experience HOPE.  I know this because I have experienced it firsthand.  May her words challenge you and fill you with HOPE today!
 2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
It’s so easy to be jaded. There are prayers that my family has been praying together for years, waiting to be answered, and we’re still waiting. Sometimes I feel I can see where God is acting in my life, but sometimes, for long stretches of time, I really don’t. It’s then that hope seems silly – like I’m asking for too much or that I’m too small to be noticed by Him.
On the other hand, there are a lot of smaller things I hope for every day. I’m studying abroad this spring and have been spending lots of time planning trips and hoping to get everything right so I can have the best experience of my life thus far. I reconnected with my high school mentor for some advice from his time abroad, seeking recommendations for hostels, restaurants, etc., but this is what he told me: “Look for Christ amidst the culture, the people, the food – everything! He is there. He is shouting your purpose and meaning to you…Have a map and game plan for trips, but first have a map and game plan for what God is calling you to do throughout your time there. God wants to find you in Europe, so put yourself in a place to be found.”
Time to reorient myself. Time to truly hope, with great faith in prayers answered in ways I didn’t necessarily choose. Time to root my hope not in myself but in my Father. He is seeking us in the context of where we are today, hoping Himself for our deep faith and response. We hope in Advent for His coming into our hearts in a new way this season and for the fruition of His greater plan for our lives and for the world.
Father, I hope I do well on finals, I hope you bless my family, friends, and relationships. But help me to most of all place my deepest hopes in You and in Your greater plan, the things I don’t see. I give myself to You in a new way today with confidence and faith. Amen.


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