Advent is here. For many people these next few weeks will become a frantic push rushing pell-mell toward the twenty-fifth. For believers, now is the time to slow down, pause, and reflect. We remember the four hundred years of silent waiting for the birth of Christ, and we make room in our souls to long with deep desire for His second coming. We reach forward with hope, because He did come, and He will come again.
My childhood memories of Christmas seasons recall to my heart that somewhat desperate excitement of anticipation that innocent children can experience. The spare room my sister and I weren’t allowed to enter after Thanksgiving, because there were secrets there only our parents were privy to. The hours we’d spend dreaming of untold treasures and playing guessing games. The delight of searching for the just-right tree, the sounds of bells and holiday music, the smell of hot chocolate. The weekly trips to Nanny’s house for Sunday dinner and gazing with wonder at the flocked tree with all the glittering ornaments and then surreptitiously searching for the packages with our names on them. Growing up in the South, even the fake “snow” on a flocked Christmas tree was a marvel, and Nanny never failed to disappoint in the flocked tree department. I miss her.
While I no longer bounce around and squirm with anticipation or lay awake at night wondering if I’ll get that pretty thing I saw in the shop window, I do hold tight in my heart the sweet longing to be with family and friends, and I find an enlarging of capacity for good will toward others. Christ is near.
The Lord our Saviour is with us, and no matter what we are facing, His promised presence is realized by faith. Anything is possible. The various trials and tribulations we encounter carve places in our hearts where faith is strengthened, and hope thrives. “And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NASB)
Dear One, are you living with anticipation or disappointment? I urge you to release disappointment before it becomes despair. Cling to the hope of His appearing. When He comes, He brings peace and comfort and desire for the future He has planned for you. It is Himself we truly long for.
Until next week, beloved, place a tenacious hold on hope and wait with desire for His appearing.