14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
I am not a patient person. I think perhaps this is because I am a worrier. I’d rather get both the good and the bad over with and settle in to its repercussions. This is why my husband knows never to plan me a surprise party. This is why I hate red lights and waiting for test results from the doctor. This is also why I’m awesome at gift-giving and adventures for the kids that involve zoos and homemade snow and picnics at the park next to the river. I plan the good stuff too.
And yet…God asks us over and over again to be patient.
Over 700 years before Mary went into labor, Isaiah told the people of Israel that a savior would come. That’s the equivalent of a you wheeling a cart down a dirt path in 1,317 (those deep dark Middle Ages) and being told about self-driving cars and Wifi. Welcome to the World Wide Web. It would seem possible. Too crazy to hope for or imagine. And yet, you’d start to look around for evidence of these strange things in your own little universe. You’d look at your cart from every angle. You’d ask again how someone could FaceTime without actual “face time.” You’d be mystified but also intrigued, wondering how this unknown could become a reality.
And then time would pass.
Days. Years. Decades. Centuries.
Generations would fade and with them, the anticipation.
But this is why God gives us eternal souls. He puts eternity in a temporal body and tells us to listen to infinity instead of the ticking clock. He whispers in His Holy Spirit voice for us to abide by His wisdom and wait with the patience of a soul that is not approaching an end. We’ve got all the time in the world and God only asks us to trust Him with it. That is the beauty of Christmas. We get to see the fruition of all those long ago promises and it serves as a reflection of our own hopes still in the queue.
Beth Felker Jones, a professor of theology at Wheaton College wrote,
“Waiting is hard. We have to learn to do it, though, not just in anguish but also in joy. In Advent, we learn to live in the waiting, to live in the hope, to savor the promised coming.”
May we all learn to live like the eternal creatures we are not only in this Advent season, but also in the days and years and decades to come.
*Important note: Yes, it’s Saturday and I’m publishing my Sunday Thoughts! Now you can join today (or anytime throughout the week) and have your Sunday to rest and worship and think good thoughts. : )
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A big thank you from Jamie on The Mom Gene!