I’ve been thinking about this advent season, a season of waiting, a season of expectation — and I think about how the Israelites waited 400 years. Four hundred years! Generations lived and died without seeing the fulfillment of His promises. And my season of waiting pales in comparison.
I think about how our generation can barely wait for a hot pocket to microwave and wonder how the Israelites kept going. Did they ever feel like giving up?
Often, in our waiting, we try to find ways to fill the void of “not yet.” And in some ways that’s good. We have to prepare for what’s coming. Yet when the time between promise and fulfillment is filled with worry or busyness or tantrums, we miss the point.
The Enemy likes to use this box of time and space against us; reminding us of the ever increasing to-do list or how people have failed us time and time again. It’s easy to become cynical and callous; bitter almost. It’s easy to forget the promise. To become weary in the waiting.
Yet, He is Hope itself. He is our Sustainer. He reminds us of the promise.
The fulfillment of that promise might not always look the way we expect — I wonder if anyone was thinking the King Savior would come as a baby during the tumult and craziness of a census.
And if we’re not careful, we might miss it. If we’re so focused on planning and orchestrating how we think the promise should be fulfilled, we’ll always be discontent. Striving. Never satisfied. Never seeing the wonder.
Yet, if our hearts are fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith, we’ll know this race is not in vain. Simeon and Anna saw it. They saw it because in the midst of their normal routines, their hearts were fixed on eternity. And from the Promise Maker's perspective of eternity, it's not a matter of "if" but "when."
It happens because we don’t take these earthly moments for granted. When we know they are fleeting and meant for more, we see the wonder and are filled with awe. It happens because we take the time to be still in his presence. The patience to see a promise fulfilled is sustained by trust in the Promise Maker.
He never, ever, ever fails. He always comes through.
May we not miss these miracles in mundane.
Lord, fix our eyes on you and not what we think the fulfillment of your promises look like. Satisfy our souls and strengthen us with patience in the hope[full] moments of "not yet." Teach us to be still this advent season.
I remain confident of this: that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:13,14