I’m amazed that Advent season is upon us again. Advent is a season of patient waiting, watching with great expectation, and hoping for the coming of the Savior of the world.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” ~Jeremiah 23:5
As we look toward the coming of Christ our King, Advent encourages our hearts to anticipate Christmas day with longing and provides us an opportunity to truly focus on what our hearts so often forget – the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is a good thing. I need this season of waiting as my soul pants in desperation. I need this time because there are so many more questions than answers for me this Christmas season. What with all the talk of the evils in this world, it’s no wonder. It’s no wonder my soul cries out in frustration. Some days I’m more aware of the longing than the joy of this season.
I’m in a season of wrestling. Wrestling for faith, for joy, for hope. A season as I have never known before. Not like this. Yet I can think of no better time to do my best savoring of the season, the hard season of wrestling for answers, for freedom, than in the waiting of Christmas morn. For the preparation of a coming Savior. A Savior come as a babe, born into this sin-stained world, into poverty. A Savior who was tempted in every way but was without sin. The only hope I have.
My soul longs for Christ’s return and the day when every tear will be wiped away. I long for the full restoration of His Kingdom. When every chronic pain and incessant poverty will cease. ISIS. Rampant pornography. Chicago. Bombings. One country pitted against the other. A town divided over pride and pain. Abortion. My heart breaks over it all and some days I find it hard to just be thankful for what I have in front of me. I find myself frustrated with the abundance and jaded by those around me living as though their lives don’t affect others. I’m frustrated with conversations that miss the point and lack luster Christianity. I’m sick of church divisions and religion.
The more I study the Bible and walk with Jesus, the more I realize I don’t know. The more He humbles me and strips me of my prejudices and injustices and self-righteousness. The more I know the less I know. But the more I trust, rest, and cling to the hope of a Savior who is coming again to make all things right.
My prayer for this Advent is to experience deeply the love of Jesus that I know so much about but struggle these days to believe in my heart. I need a reset. I need a season of savoring Jesus, waiting for Jesus, hoping in the truth of what Christmas means. I will go back to the beginning to what my heart seems to forget far too easily. The Messiah has come and He is coming again!
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’” ~Isaiah 40:1-5
You promised, Lord, and we are clinging to Your promises. This weary world is waiting.