When I was a child, I can recall the almost excruciating wait for Christmas Day.
Our family tradition was to wrap all the gifts for one another on Christmas Eve and to bring them out to be placed under the tree.
My three sisters and I made it a kind of competition to show off the size of the packages we had bought for each other. We would put our wrapped gifts under the tree and then we would eagerly scurry around to read the tags to see who was going to receive what gift.
I can still remember thinking that the pile of presents under the tree at that time seemed pretty small and sparse.
And then came Christmas morning! We were up early and we would oooh and aaah at the miraculous appearance of so many more presents than what we had seen the night before! After our traditional breakfast we would pounce on the presents and wrapping paper was flying in all directions!
The wait was excruciating. But it was so worth it!
Galatians 4:4 tells us when the right time came, God sent His Son… A Saviour had been promised to God’s people for centuries. They longed for and prayed for rescue. And then, on the right day, in the right place, at the right time (in the fullness of time), Jesus was born.
The wait was long. But Jesus came and He was worth the wait!
Pastor Louie Giglio points out that while God rarely comes at our appointed time, He always comes at the right time.
All of us are waiting on something. We stand in lines. We wait in traffic. We’re on hold for customer service. We wait for updates to download and install. We wait for the birth of a baby. We wait for news, a break through, a diagnosis or a cure.
Advent is the Season of Expectation.
What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for? What do you long for?
Do you wonder if God has forgotten you? Or even worse, that He has abandoned you?
In your waiting, let the birth of Christ encourage you.
Again, Pastor Louie Giglio points out that just because God hasn’t come through (as far as you can see), it doesn’t mean He has abandoned you.
Though it may not appear that anything is happening, God is always working just under the surface to accomplish what is best for you for His glory.
Though circumstances may say otherwise, God is going to come through right on time. He will fulfill His long-appointed plans for you.
Don’t give up before the time is right.
Take hope in the manger and know that you are loved and prized by the God who stepped down from heaven and arrived at the perfect time for you.
May God meet you in your waiting place where what is desired is not yet realized. May your heart be still. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Merry Christmas!
Rick Gay is the pastor of Summerland Alliance Church.