Ever wait for something so long you think you may die if you don’t get it?
DRAMATIC, I KNOW but we have all been there.
Or the opposite effect, want something so bad you just can’t wait and have to have it now!
Most the shoes in my closet…
Well, let me tell you a little story. Actually, the story isn’t quite so little – it’s the GREATEST story ever told. A very, very long time ago in a stable, a baby named Jesus was born. He was conceived by a teenage girl named Mary – a virgin whom God had appointed to carry out this not so small task. Shepherds and magi traveled far to see this baby because they were told He would be a mighty King – A Savior. And that’s who He was. He grew to be a humble and strong man: healing strangers, teaching many and serving all. Most significantly, he suffered a sinners death, though innocent, allowing us to be the righteousness of God – CLEAN – and fully accessible to the High and Mighty.
(let that sink in a minute)
I know this story. I love this story. This is the story that began and changed everything for the world. But you want to know something I have never thought about until a few days ago? The length of time that many others WAITED for this story.
roughly 9 MONTHS before
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive & give birth to a son, & you are to call him Jesus. He will be great & will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, & he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33
roughly 400 YEARS before
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:1
roughly 700 YEARS before
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” Isaiah 35:6
roughly 2000 YEARS before
“Sarah your wife shall bear you a son. You shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.” Genesis 17:19
People waited LONG for this day. Many doubted it. Many longed for it.
It’s sometimes hard to grip a reality before us. A reality before Jesus. That people actually had things to wait for 2000 years ago. But *crazy, I know* people WAITED. They waited more than 2000 YEARS for this long expected Jesus. They waited for the arrival of a King whom they were told could open the eyes of the blind and allow the tongue of the mute to sing. They waited for something they longed for so desperately and believed to be true.
On Earth, we still have this wait. We wait to see if we were accepted into a school we want to get in. We wait for our dad or friend to be healed. We wait for a boyfriend to propose. We wait to finally get pregnant. We wait at stop lights, grocery lines and carnival rides. I see this in myself and my friends; we are always waiting upon something – big or small.
Here is the good news. We can wait with hope by looking at the manger.
One of the greatest and most significant stories ever told, did not just happen. People waited and hoped for it for years and years. They waited with hope and urgency because they had faith in a big God who’s promises are always good and true. There were many people who probably wanted his birth to come sooner. Most people heard the promise and never even got to be there to experience Him. But no matter, though Jesus didn’t come at people’s “ideal” time, He did come at God’s RIGHT and PERFECT time. He stepped down from Heaven to come save you and I and He has never left us before or since then.
That is the kind of story and God I want to place my hope and waiting in. A God that is near, reigning high above crafting our plans to meet His perfect and good timing. He never leaves us. He never does anything without purpose.
Believe me, I know this is hard. I am the worst at waiting. I don’t look at this and say I want to do it and it naturally happens. This is work. I have to constantly turn my head back and force myself to gaze upon the manger and cross. But there is something about hearing the Christmas story that puts it back into perspective all over again. To look at Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Shepherds, Isreal, Magi and Jesus and know that everything that happened was appointed and approved and purposeful by God.
So let’s look at Mary, who was told the craziest thing ever, and say “I am your servant, May it be done to me as you have said.” Let’s look at Shepherds, who were considered to be of low position but got to encounter the King because God loves to bless those humble. Let’s look at Elizabeth, who patiently endured pregnancy as her husband sat mute. Let’s look at Jesus, who came into a broken world and served every human who was and is and will be on this Earth.
The season of Advent is waiting for the arrival of Jesus. Just like we would be awaiting our birthday or an event, we should be excited at the remembrance that our King, who people long waited for, was born, came and sits high in Heaven. God’s promises are true, faithful, good and come at the perfect timing.
The Greatest Story Ever Told.
That is something worth waiting upon.
That is something worth celebrating.
“Let all that I am wait quietly before my God, for my hope is in Him.” Psalm 62:5