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And so it shall be with our yearning for the redemption of humanity and for a new shining forth of the world of God. When we are discouraged by the apparently slow progress of all our honest efforts, by the failure of this or the other person, and by the ever new reappearance of enemy powers and their apparent victories, then we should know: the time shall be fulfilled.

Because of the noise and activity of the struggle and the work, we often do not hear the hidden gentle sound and movement of the life that is coming into being. But here and there, at hours that are blessed, God lets us feel how He is everywhere at work and how His cause is growing and moving forward.

The time is being fulfilled and the light shall shine, perhaps just when it seems to us that the darkness is impenetrable….

Just as the mother knows that her own surrender, care, and faithful readiness must be present along with God’s working and creating, and just as every life comes into being through a deep inward working together of God and man, so it is also in the highest of things, in the appearing and breaking through of divine life.

True, it is grace and a gift when our need is relieved and the darkness is illuminated, and it is true that what is best must be given to us and to the whole world, and that we could never produce it ourselves. But we and our efforts always belong to this, even though it were only to keep the manger prepared in which the Child of God wants to lie. Our efforts count, even though like Simeon we only stretch out our arms in the patience of faith and in loyal endurance so that we may receive the holy gift.

When the Time was Fulfilled, Eberhard Arnold

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