Growing up, Christmas and the new year were both always a big deal to me. On New Year’s Eve we would host a big all-nighter, and before everyone would come over, I would sit in my room and think about the past year. I would journal about it and get all sentimental thinking about all that had happened and all that was before me in the coming year. During the Christmas season, I would savor every contata (I went to a cantata church!), every school Christmas event, and every precious moment of the season. Since then, time and busyness of life have stolen these sweet moments from me. I try to savor the moments, but by the time I sit down to enjoy resting in the season, the season has passed.
I have been trying to faithfully do advent this year, and it has helped me take a moment each day to reflect on God’s goodness in sending his Son to this earth to be my sacrifice. As a child, I eagerly waited for Christmas. It was by far the highlight of my year! What is sweeter than Christmas to a child? As I have been doing advent, I have been reminded that Christmas was what many generations of believers waited and waited for with each passing year. When will the prophesy be fulfilled? Is God really going to be true to His promises? The Israelites were a people hurting and suffering and waiting and waiting.
God’s people cried out to Him in Psalm 85:
“4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us! 5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? 6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. 8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. 9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.”
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
They waited – just like those days in my childhood, when I would wait and wait for Christmas. It seemed so far. The days seemed so long.
Now, as I have grown, my days are filled with a new longing. I wait and wait for all to be made right again. He promised to come again. He promised to wipe every tear from our eyes! Surely, He is coming soon?
Revelation 21 says,
“1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God iswith men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Emphasis added)
So many times, my heart is in pain because of the trouble around me. This world is not right! Sin and heart-ache are pervasive. We hurt each other, we suffer, we sin! So, we wait and wait for Christ to fulfill His promises! We are like the Israelites waiting for Christmas.
“18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8, emphasis added)
God promises, “every knee shall bow.” He says, “I will wipe away your tears.” He says, “Joy comes in the morning.”
So we believe, and we wait.
I want to take the time to just wait this Christmas. To every day anticipate the coming of the baby boy who will suffer for my salvation. To anticipate the baby boy who will conquer my greatest fear – death.
And I will wait each day for my Savior to come again. I will wait for the One who bore my sorrows, who took my iniquities, who was crushed for my salvation. And I won’t stop waiting and believing.
Our Bible closes with the words,
“‘….Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20, Emphasis added)