02 Dec Advent – Waiting at Christmas
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31 KJV
Tomorrow is my 8th wedding anniversary. Eight years is long enough to forget the specifics, but short enough to remember the highlights of your wedding day. So, each year, I do my best to put myself back into the emotions I had the day I got married.
I remember waiting all day long for the wedding to begin… and as the moment got closer, I began to feel more and more butterflies – at one point, I thought I might get sick, even. I was just so ready for my groom – the wait was excruciating that day, for whatever reason. If he had asked me to marry him right then and there the day after our first date, I would’ve said yes. Instead, I waited two and a half years for him to ask me for my hand in marriage and another 9 months before the wedding day. Then, I found myself there on the morning of December 3, 2011 – so ready to be on the other side of forever – and I had to wait some more. Only hours to go, but they moved like molasses in January.
Here I am 8 years, one home, another dog, and two babies into forever and let me tell you… the wait was worth it.
What a poignant gift it is to remember the wait each year at the beginning of December in anticipation of celebrating our anniversary. I do not find it to be any coincidence that I remember how much I waited – and how the wait was worth it – as I begin the Advent season. I watch as my children are waiting – as excruciating as it might be – for Christmas to be here. I remember the hundreds of years (even before the 400 years of silence) when this world waited for the arrival of the messiah before the very first Christmas. I think of what a blessing it is that we are on the other side of forever – Jesus has come.
Yet, we still wait.
And I’m feeling it so deeply this Christmas. Over the past few months, I have seen so much heartache and brokenness happen to so many precious people around me. Sometimes it feels so heavy. Last week, after learning that my grandmother is living her very last days on earth and thinking about my sweet grandfather telling her goodbye, I broke down and turned to my husband and said “This place just plain sucks!” It’s how I feel sometimes, knowing that heaven is our true home. Knowing so many loved ones are there with Jesus and knowing that I will be there one day, mixed with the heaviness this world can bring has me asking Jesus to come! Just come right now! Save us from this place.
And I know that one day, he will. And what a celebration that will be.
I was at lunch with a friend of mine and she told me that we always focus on how hard it was to wait for Jesus all those years ago, and how our Advent Studies wait for the baby… But Advent is also about reminding us that we are waiting for Jesus to come again. We find hope in the story of Christmas, but only because we know how hard it can be to wait for Him.
So, we wait. And we remember those who waited for the arrival of Jesus in the first place. And just as I remember that glorious moment when the church doors opened and I walked towards my groom, we must use this season to consider just how joyous that moment was when our savior was born – both God and man – to save us all – after 400 years of silence.
That’s what Advent is all about. It’s celebrating the light that is to come, because we have walked in the dark. It’s knowing what is on the other side of forever and how worth the wait it truly is.
To begin our Advent Season, I urge you to consider the ultimate purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ – he will make all things new, as as He has made us new. Consider how incredible this will be one day. This is what we wait for.