For When a Flicker Lights a Way for Hope to Come (Word of the Week)


November 30, 2014 by Beth Hess

isaiah 9-2Longing for a word from The Word to guide me through the week, I come before Him expectantly.

He leads me through a labyrinth of anticipation. Of yearning. Of hopefulness. Of waiting.

Of Advent. The Coming of all our hearts long for. Both those things of which we are quite aware. And the fullness of abundantly more that He promises as our inheritance.

We long for a Messiah — our salvation. We long for Emmanuel — God with us.

We long for an experience of His love. A taste of His grace. A promise of His peace.

We long for the days of no more tears and no more pain.

Because the world, so often, is dark and cold. I have heard its stories on the news. I have listened to its echoes in the aching words of those I hold dear. I have read its reports across the blogosphere. I have harbored its weariness in my own soul.

We long. We are restless. We wait.

In the waiting, I am at a loss for words.

And maybe silence is the only proper response. The only appropriate action for the anxious anticipation. The only prayer that makes any sense in the lighting of Advent’s first bit of light in a world full of darkness.

The candle of Hope. advent

Those who walked in the dark     have seen a bright light. And it shines upon everyone who lives in the land     of darkest shadows.  (Isaiah 9:2)

Just one light in the blackness. Just a flicker of hope. It is enough to push back against despair.

It is enough to awaken our hearts. It is enough for us, the waiters — the Advent people, to declare the coming King.

And by its light, may we find our way to all the corners of darkness, until the Light of the World, shines fully on us all.

If you have 10 more minutes, please watch this message about Hope from Ann Voskamp. It’s powerful, darkness-shattering stuff.


I return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To meditate upon. To use as a jumping off point for whatever other words God would have me hear during the week. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading. 

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.

12 thoughts on “For When a Flicker Lights a Way for Hope to Come (Word of the Week)

  1. jodyo70 says:

    Beth, I’ve been asking the Lord for a word each day as I get up, something to focus on and be aware of throughout my day. Some days I hear Him better than others. The word He gave me on Saturday was ‘open’–(while I was folding laundry). Open to His blessings, open to change….just open. I’m so thankful when we ask He answers and if we seek Him we will find Him.
    Great post!


    • Beth Hess says:

      It’s wonderful to hear from The Spirit in such personal ways, isn’t it?! God has been speaking to me quite clearly about the Word he wants me to focus on for 2015 (I’ll announce it here soon.) Open is a wonderful reminder.


  2. “All of the corners of darkness.”
    That seems to describe it well for me, this relentless pushing forth into the world of God, of Jesus. The way he comes and comes further and further into our opening lives each year. May we bear well the wait and the searching light. Blessings, friend.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Too often I feel like I’ve made headway in getting light in to dark spaces, only to turn slightly and discover another dark corner. But The Light, He wins, doesn’t He, friend. The light always wins!


  3. Sharon says:

    I like the title of the Advent People. Yes, we are the expectant waiters – the ones who live life with feet on the ground and eyes to the sky. Hope is the light that flickers within no matter how dark the road. For we are the ones who know and follow The One – The Light of the World in whom no darkness can be found.



    • Beth Hess says:

      I have to give credit to Ann Voskamp for the words Advent People, but I loved them, too. Hope that comes from knowing whatever we are in right now is not the final chapter. He has already secured our glory and His. Thanks for your words, Sharon.


  4. Natalie says:

    Harbored its weariness in my soul… That’s a haunting phrase. And true. The long awaited One didn’t just rescued from something but redeemed to something and for that I am grateful.


  5. Simply Beth says:

    Just lingering here for a while. Hope. It’s awakening my heart. It is enough. He is enough.
    Always so blessed by how you share your heart.


  6. ambercadenas says:

    I like how you say this, Beth – “In the waiting, I am at a loss for words. And maybe silence is the only proper response.” This loss for words, this silence, is to me a semi colon, not a period. It is not the finished sentence. But it is good to linger here awhile while the hope flickers soft. Thank you for this reflection.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Oh, how I do love a well-placed semi colon! A pause that builds the anticipation. May I neither retreat back by considering it a period, nor rush ahead disregarding the chance to take a breath. Because even just a little light is enough. Thank you, as always, for being here to flicker with me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: