Ever since I was a little girl attending Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, I have always enjoyed the season of advent. From the chocolate-filled calendars my mother would keep on the kitchen counter that my brothers and I would argue over whose turn it was to open the tiny paper door to the weekly lighting of the advent candles in church, it was instilled in me to view the Christmas season as one of anticipation and preparation for our coming King.
While I no longer attend a Presbyterian church in Corsicana, I still honor and participate in advent devotionals and take on an advent mindset.
As a child, I considered the anticipation of December to involve the eagerness of lying in bed on Christmas Eve trying my hardest to fall asleep, knowing that my present status was all depending on whether I could actually sleep or not (because Santa knows if you’re awake or asleep). The thought of ripping open mountains of glittering presents on Christmas morning was almost too much to bear, though sleep always managed to find me on Christmas Eve yet didn’t always linger far into the morning.
These days, my priorities during the Christmas season have drastically shifted from all of the gingerbread houses and pageants and gifts to honoring what’s most important: the birth of our Savior.
Does that mean I still don’t face that same wide-eyed anticipation and sense of waiting that I faced in my childhood? No way. It just looks much different in my adulthood, as I’m sure you see in your own life.
As we chatted about a month or so ago, waiting is the embodiment of faith. So let’s dive in, what are you waiting on God for this Christmas season and this year?
Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that without faith, there’s no way we can please God. We are called to be strong and courageous. Waiting, as I’ve divulged with y’all, can be extremely difficult. These days, we expect everything to be instant, right at our fingertips, available the moment we desire it. Yet God doesn’t operate in a world of instant downloads and on demand movies and microwavable quinoa.
God uses the times of anticipation and waiting to further grow our faith and deepen our understanding of His ways.
What are you waiting on this Christmas season?
Perhaps you await the return of your own prodigal son or daughter.
Perhaps you await the phone to ring with news of a new job with better benefits, hours, and salary.
Perhaps you await for your ailing body to recover, heal, and return to a state of normalcy.
Perhaps you await feeling God’s presence and peace in your life once again.
Or, if you’re like me, you await the arrival of the son you’ve hoped, prayed, and dreamed of for twenty-seven years.
Pregnancy and waiting sure go hand-in-hand. From the hours of waiting in doctor’s offices to the waiting for morning sickness to dissipate to waiting to hear about positive test results from yet another blood test, there’s been a lot of waiting in this whole pregnancy thing as the anticipation for the arrival of my son builds and builds.
In both pregnancy and our spiritual lives, the waiting can be tiring, frustrating, and worrisome. The journey can become, at best, tedious as we wish for it to be all over. We want the passage of our challenges without the uphill climb to get there. We want spiritual maturation without the disciple and prayers. We sometimes focus on the glory of heaven more than endurance of this world. We focus on Jesus, not Mary. The baby, not pregnancy.
Whether you’re pregnant, have been pregnant, or you never will become pregnant in your life, there’s a lot we can learn spiritually from pregnancy.
In this first week of advent, I urge you to focus on the faith God is building within you as you reflect on your own wait. Waiting is difficult; as my husband keeps pointing out, why can’t pregnancy last six months? That seems like plenty of time…if only…rushing to the end can diminish quality of life. God uses nine months to knit together a perfectly formed and functioning human being. And God uses these waiting periods in our lives to build us, strengthen us, and shape us for what He has to come.
We must learn to accept and deal with the discomfort and unease of the unknown.
Remember, God’s people waited hundreds of years in silence for their Messiah to arrive; God’s timeline is built on millennia and eternity, not minutes and hours.
Yet the story of Christ’s arrival and birth is one of joy and celebration. It is an assurance and reminder that while decades of waiting may be ahead of us, God listens and answers at the right time.
I thought waiting half a year to become pregnant was frustrating. Imagine having to wait for generations for a Savior. Talk about perspective.
If it seems like God has gone radio silent in your life right now, I beg you to not give into despair. God always keep his promises, even to those of little faith. You only need to cultivate a mustard seed-sized faith; that was about the size of my son three months ago…if you can muster that much faith, God can help you cultivate it into a forest. Notice I said God can help you; this is something you cannot do on your own.
This week’s challenge: Take inventory of your relationship with God. Are you struggling with His timing? Have a conversation with Him about it. If you feel so open, feel free to leave me a comment about something your struggling with, or email me about it! I love hearing from y’all and knowing how I can pray for y’all more.
Today’s prayer: Father God, forgive me for being so impatient with this life. Please teach me to enjoy You and Your blessings I see daily. Fill my days with joy despite the hardships and uncertainties around me. Remind me that life on this Earth is infinitesimally smaller than a second in Your kingdom. This advent season, use this time of anticipation to cultivate my mustard seed-sized faith into one that remains focused on You and the arrival of Your son, my Savior.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
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