I bought Advent calendars for my grandsons last month. I can remember when I was a child, how opening one door each morning helped ease the terrible tension of waiting for Christmas Day.
Fast forward 20 years; I was pregnant twice during Advent. My middle son was due in December, born in January and my youngest son was due in November, born in December. It simply took me longer than nine months to grow a baby. It seemed then like the pregnancies would go on forever, like the waiting to finally hold my babies would be never-ending and I would spend the rest of my life nine months pregnant.
All of those times of waiting during Advent had a definite end; Christmas comes each year on December 25, and I did eventually deliver healthy babies. My pregnancies did not last forever.
There are many times, however, when our waiting is open-ended. We long for someone to love but remain lonely, we anticipate a reconciliation with estranged family members but isolation persists, we hope for a child but cannot conceive. We wait for grace. We wait for faith.
Even though Christmas movies make it seem like our waiting will be rewarded, in real life, sometimes our desires are unfulfilled.
God does not promise all of our longings will be realized, in fact, He tells us the opposite: “Not as the world gives do I give to you.”
Waiting is hard, ask any pregnant woman. It’s not sexy. It takes discipline and courage to wait gracefully. Waiting does not pack the same emotional punch as the celebration of arrival.
The word “advent” means “coming“, though, not “waiting“. God is coming to where we are right now. It doesn’t matter if you are a faithless overachiever too busy to appreciate a loving family, a broken and frightened immigrant searching in vain for a safe place to call home, a childless woman grieving her fifth miscarriage, or a young parent who is ashamed for losing her temper with her toddler again, God will seek you out, imperfections and all.
God is present in each of our lives. He is here now. We do not wait without anticipating an end to our waiting. For all of us standing by for hope and light, for justice and peace on earth, for love and compassion, for comfort and joy, let the celebration begin.
God can enter our hearts right now. Let’s welcome Him in.
Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.