December 12, 2016
Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

Advent: A time of celebrating the first Advent of God to this world, and a time in which we await His final return which will last for all eternity.

In the here and now, we wait for many things in life to come to pass, and depending upon one’s particular circumstance, the answer to the question, “what are you waiting/longing for” will vary greatly.

We are all waiting for something, but what is it that we are waiting for? Allow me to illustrate one young man’s journey.

I asked the young man what he would like for his birthday, which was a “what are you waiting for” question. He replied, “To be able to run and jump again, like any young man.” It was understood without any more words needed that only through healing by God, by divine intervention, or through a doctor’s help would this become a reality for him again.

This young man had excelled in three sports in high school, had worked in the physically demanding logging occupation for many years, but had in the last two years suffered mentally- and physically-crippling injuries which left him unable to work in the forest, as well as to be able to continue his budding music career. What a blessing it would be for him to have this desire granted.

But in his waiting, he recently received a much greater blessing than his physical healing: God came to him in the Stillness of his waiting. He was visited by the Friend of all mankind, the God of creation and salvation.

In conversation a few weeks later, the young man shared how the words to the first song that he had written in at least two years, entitled “Thunder in the Stillness,” had been coming to him over and over recently – in the car, at the doctor’s office, and at home. It was at the deepest and richest part of this revelation of the presence of God that he was so overcome that he found himself weeping on the floor, so filled with the glory and love of God that, as he described it, “if his worst enemy would have come into that room at that point, he would have embraced him in love.”

God had come to him in the Stillness of the storm. This young man was able to see past his sufferings and, in his longings/waitings, an answer was given to him.

The revelation of God comes to us in different ways and in different degrees, but when it does, the fruit that it brings is praise and glory to God, love into the heart for God, and love for and toward all others, even our enemies.

It is with great thankfulness to God and in great praise to Him that I leave the following words of my son, Carl’s latest song, for you to meditate upon as you ponder the questions of life. These words are far more than words of a song, for they are the heart cries of one who has come to know his God and Saviour through the valleys of life that he has passed through, may yet be passing through, and who wishes to give this Hope to others – a God and a Saviour who knows our sinfulness, our brokenness, and our weakness, but One who leads us to deeper and more profound knowledge of Himself through meeting us in the Stillness of the storm.

“Where will you go when the moon is turned to blood

When the highways turn to mud and leave you scrambling?

What will you do when there’s nothing left to hold

And it’s only fool’s gold that you’re gambling?

What will you say when the shadows turn to ice

And no ones playing nice in the potter’s field?

Where will you turn when the sky is opened wide,

When there’s no place left to hide and your fate is sealed?

I’ll be on the other side; won’t you come with me?

Don’t you want to see the Promised Land?

There’s either thunder in The Stillness, or Stillness in the storm

Take a little time to understand.

Who will you believe when the voices come around

And confusion is the sound that’s overtaking?

Who will hear your prayer when your bread has turned to stone,

When there’s dust inside your bones and you’re forsaken?”

What are you and I waiting/longing for? To where are we looking?

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