Today’s Advent reflection is by Kimberly Smith, the president of Make Way Partners, an organization she co-founded with her husband to prevent and combat human trafficking. She is the author of Passport Through Darkness, her first book, focused on sharing rich and reflective stories from her experiences of finding God in all corners of the world, from human trafficking to daily life. Kimberly is passionate about helping others to discover the unique dream God has for their lives.
It was the Thursday night before Thanksgiving. Bright lights burned through the darkness in my lane. I swerved hard right, barely escaping a head-on collision.
My car plowed into the lower half of a tall pine tree. The top half snapped off, slamming down upon my roof. The force sprayed shattered window glass like bullets through the air. I banged my head on something in the crash, and confusion set in. I didn’t know where I was. The other driver fled into the night.
One hour earlier I’d been laughing and sharing dinner and stories with the staff of Make Way Partners, the anti-trafficking organization I lead. Suddenly, I’d become what John Eldredge described in Waking the Dead as, “confused and oriented times zero”, a military term implying that a soldier is so confused and disoriented he doesn’t know where—or who—he is.
Milton, my husband, was traveling. So, once I was found, Olivia, my adult daughter, spent the night with me. The morning after the crash, we drank coffee together, counting my cuts and bruises, and giving thanks for life, friends, and family. As we chatted, something dawned on me—within the last four years I’ve brushed hard against death four times.
Firstly, as I was learning to drive a motorcycle before a trip to Sudan, the bike and I unintentionally summersaulted. Fortunately, I broke my ankle rather than my neck. Secondly, on a plane flying over the bush in South Sudan our engine died in-flight, forcing our pilot to crash land our little three-seater. Thirdly, after motoring far from home on a blustery autumn day, my boat’s fuel pump gave out, leaving me stranded in white-capped open water. Wind blew me dangerously close to the damn just as its turbines kicked on, their tornadic force nearly sucking me under. And most recently, my tree-hugging car escapade. Olivia’s playful response was, “Mom, just don’t get on a train!”
When I called Milton to tell him about my crash he was in Chicago with Dr. Dan Allender. Dan said, “It’s almost as if something diabolical is after you two.”
Hmmm . . . almost indeed. I know evil is not pleased with me.
Milton calls Revelation 12, “The Other Christmas Passage”, the one that reminds us what sort of story we’ve fallen into. It poetically reminds us that satan fought God and lost. He was kicked out of heaven, down to earth. It is here where the battle continues, only since satan cannot kill God, he comes after the children left behind who cling to Jesus.
I Peter 4:12-13 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised when the fiery trials come upon you. . .as though something strange were happening. But rejoice insofar as you share in Christ’s suffering. . .” In other words, “Remember there is a great battle—and be thankful that you’re caught smack dab in the middle of it!”
In the eternal scheme of things, none of us are really any different than the war-torn orphans of Sudan and South Sudan. We’re all children caught in the epic war between satan and God.
If you’re in the middle of a physical warzone, the bomber planes flying overhead constantly remind you of your reality, and it’s quite easy to remember evil’s intention against humanity. For us Westerners, though, I think it’s a little easier to forget, “The Other Christmas Passage”—Revelation 12. We’ve come to expect comfort and security. We’re often surprised by evil, pain, and suffering—and we feel far from rejoicing about it. Rather, we feel something more like doubt, anger, and resentment.
In the last ten years, Make Way Partners has made major advancements against the gates of hell—particularly the evil of human trafficking. Each of these victories has been won by remembering both God’s power and our role in the war against evil.
The Advent isn’t something that happened 2,000 years ago. It happens every second of every day and each member of the Body of Christ plays a vital role. [Click to Tweet!] “The Other Christmas Passage” helps us to see the Advent as current, ongoing, and relevant. Most of us are so busy living the AmericanDream, we’ve grown numb to evil’s ongoing assaults, both within and without.
This Advent I’m renewing my vow to remember the “Other Christmas passage.” The one where satan is so bitter in his loss, he continues to come after all children made in image of God.
Today’s Advent reflection is by Kimberly Smith, the president of Make Way Partners, an organization she co-founded with her husband to prevent and combat human trafficking. She is the author of Passport Through Darkness, her first book, focused on sharing rich and reflective stories from her experiences of finding God in all corners of the world, […]