See, I have given Jericho into your hand. (Joshua 6:2) Um… what I see is a city shut up inside and outside, none going in and none going out. How does that communicate a victory? Isn’t that the way with God? He uses impossible circumstances in our lives so that He alone gets the victory. He does indeed give Joshua and the Israelites the city of Jericho, but in a new and very unusual way. (Maybe that’s why they weren’t to speak. God knew they would grumble about it.)
This advent I am struck by the impossible situations at Christmas time too: A teenage unwed mother, a barren woman, an unbelieving priest, a crazy angry king, and wisemen from the East following a star. But our omni-wise God has made all these elements into a beautiful story. One that we cherish every year because it fills our hearts with hope.
We hope because He shows us the length to which He will go to redeem His people.
We hope because He can make beautiful things out of messy situations.
We hope because He is able to tumble the walls of Jericho and provide for that unwed mother.
We hope because that barren woman and her mute, unbelieving priest of a husband hold a baby and name him John.
We hope because He proves to that unbelieving priest that He is able.
We hope because all the power of the raging crazy king is nullified before our omnipotent King of Kings.
And we hope because, just maybe, like those wisemen from the East, those who are unlikely to come and worship at the feet of this little Hebrew baby will bow the knee and proclaim Him King.