Anyone else like me ever miss the start of Advent and subsequently feel like you just can’t jump into the middle of your Advent readings… and might as well just forgo them altogether? Recently a friend posted on Facebook that it’s never too late to start preparing your heart in waiting for the Advent season. This really stuck out to me and with just a few days until Christmas I ordered the book I initially had my eye on. It’s called Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy. Today’s reading really moved in me an urge to write. After handwriting it all out in my journal, I thought, why not share? After all, it’s a Level 2 Snow Emergency here, church is cancelled, and I’m just waiting…
The reading today is called December 18: A Sign. I’m going to paraphrase some of it in my own words for sake of typing. Just know that I mostly read her piece of writing, spent some time contemplating it, and turned around and kind of wrote my own interpretation of it.
Kris Camealy talks about how God sent the shepherds in the field a sign. But the sign wasn’t the angel that appeared before them– wouldn’t that have been enough of a sign? An angel? No, the sign was Jesus. Born in a manger in swaddling clothes. Come to redeem the world. Jesus was the sign. The fulfillment of God’s promise began.
The beginning. Not yet fulfilled. The inkling that God was up to something. Keeping His promises. People were waiting long before this. What did it feel like to hear this news? What was it like to receive this confirmation?
There’s quite a bit of waiting while Jesus grows up into an adult. I’m not quite His age yet, and there’s been a lot of life lived!
What about the waiting for Jesus’ death? Again, a promise. The ultimate gift of sacrifice and demonstration of His love for us mess of a people. What did it feel like to hear this news? This confirmation…?
Oh, the waiting after His death. To see if Jesus had truly conquered death. But oh! When He appeared! A sign! What did it feel like to hear THIS news?! This confirmation.
And here we sit, looking back on the waiting and looking forward in our current wait. How long will it be until Jesus returns? What will it feel like when we receive our long awaited confirmation?
What about here in our day-to-day lives for those of us (all of us, I presume) who are waiting for something?
Waiting for a diagnosis or surgery or healing to our broken bodies? Waiting for this far too long season of depress, anxiety, or grief to lift? Waiting on the plans the Lord has spoken clearly to us that we just aren’t seeing come to fruition yet? Waiting to no longer walk through a life that feels lonely?
The weight of waiting can be so heavy.
Looking back and looking forward can help us to know that God keeps His promises. Even when there is a long wait between Him showing up in the ways we hope. Even when hard things happen in the long middle of the wait.
He does give us signs.
Maybe not angels appearing and speaking clearly these days, but there are signs in the small and mundane. Arguably more than we take note of. In this season of waiting, I will ask the same question as the author who prompted this writing in me today. What signs are you hoping to receive from the Lord?
Take some time today to ask Him for those signs. Be on the lookout and may the Lord bless you in your season of waiting. Whatever that may be.