Christmas. It’s almost here, friends. Whether this is a holiday you celebrate or not, I hope you’ll read on today. And perhaps find something that encourages you.
I am sharing a piece of writing in today’s post that I actually penned 10 years ago this December. That Christmas I wrote these words in the face of a not yet, standing on shaking legs in the waiting of God’s words over my relationship with Jon. I had no idea that just 6 months later our closely building friendship would become more. I was truly in the thick of uncertainty, frustration, and heart-wrenching waiting.
Where are you today?
As you face Christmas, what’s deep down inside your heart? This Christmas carries a range of intense emotions for Jon and I… and as we’ve talked about them we both desire to hold and ponder those things inside our own hearts, and on the surface of it enjoy the holiday with our families. Maybe you find yourself in a similar place this Christmas.
Each year I pull out this piece I wrote – and remind myself that I have had both waiting seasons and fulfillment seasons, sometimes both at the same time. I read over these words and let myself refocus on truth and recenter on what Christmas means for us. I hope and pray as you read along with me this year, that you’ll find a fresh level of hope and peace as well. So here we go… A little Christmas story time…
Take a moment and picture the scene:
Hundreds of years of prophecy. Generations have come and gone. The oppressed have clung to the promises of deliverance. Those who oppress them started out concerned, but now only scoff at those who still believe. Old men faithfully pass on the words. Words spoken to give the people hope. A hope that fills them so strong at times it almost leads them to despair.
And then one morning the sun rises.
Shepherds awaken to the early morning light and begin their daily routine. The priests make their morning sacrifices. Mothers rise before their households and begin preparing a meal. People from every station in life, of every occupation, begin their day just like they always do.
And the day slowly fades into night.
Nothing extraordinary seems to have taken place. The shepherds who rose earlier that morning and carried out their day as normal sit together by a fire and watch their sheep silently. The light from the stars above them and the soft glow of the moon cast shadows on their tired faces.
And then the suddenly.
The sky breaks forth in incredible light. The voices of the multitudes unified together as one speak over the stunned men the words Israel has been waiting generation after generation to hear.
“Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The shock. The awestruck disbelief. The pure amazement.
No one speaks…. But tears fall from their weary eyes. None dares move for fear it will all vanish like a dream.
It’s happened? What they’ve been waiting for has come? The years of believing, of clinging to promises made decades before, of standing in faith despite seeing no evidence around them… It wasn’t in vain!
God has done what He always does. He’s done what He said. He’s done so much more than He has to do.
The long awaited has become the present.
I can’t imagine the emotion that filled each heart, the thoughts that ran through each mind, the joy that filled each spirit. Or can I?
This God, He is the most amazing storyteller. The climactic moments, the breath-holding suspense, the wonder of how things fall into place. There is nothing in comparison to the story of His son, the incredible moment of the long awaited becoming present, the realization of prophecies and promises made.
And yet He stirs my heart. ‘Be encouraged by this story’, He says. For He is writing my story, too. And He has given promises; He has spoken things over me. And I wait. I wait for those moments, those moments when the long awaited things in my life become present. ‘Be encouraged that I will do it.’
I pray He would stir our hearts. That He would bring the things we stand in belief for. He doesn’t have to… we know that. And yet He speaks and He declares. He tells us what He, out of His unimaginable love, will do. And so we place our hope…in Him.
In the Promise Giver and the Promise Keeper. In the One who has written the most incredible story of all time. In the One who somehow delights to script the incredibly small details of each of our stories, making them all a part of His amazing story.
In Him we hope, and to Him we give praise… In the face of not yets, broken things, uncertainty. We allow our hearts to be filled with the wonder of that moment. The long awaited becoming present.