December 12, 2011

What's Your Advent?

Advent. The Coming. With every coming there is a period of waiting. This season of waiting serves as a testing ground of sorts, where hope and patience are stretched to the utmost, where anticipation is built, and mounting tension is clearly felt.

As Christians we spend this Christmas season, together, celebrating the birth of Christ. It's during advent that we remember how Christ entered into the world in human flesh. The long awaited prophecies were to be fulfilled at this God appointed time. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given..." Can you just imagine the enormity of that moment? God had been silent for 400 years! Generations of people waiting. Yet God came rather silently. Humbly. A select few were lead to this newborn king by a star. Despite it's grandeur, it was all rather peaceful.

Advent isn't just fulfilled in a manger though. Advent is found at the cross. At Golgotha where blood was shed and cries that broke forth from the chest pierced the heavens. This too was a fulfillment.

As Christians we're in a season of advent even now, and have been for hundreds of years. We're still waiting for this same King, the Christ, riding on the mighty steed. Advent does not end on December 25th, but will continue until His return.

But what about you? I'm willing to bet that every one of you are in your own personal seasons of advent. You're waiting and anticipating something. Maybe you're like the elderly man I found myself sitting next to last night at dinner, where each passing Christmas is a painful reminder that the  wife he loved for decades is no longer with him. He's looking forward to that day when he sees her again. Or maybe you're like the glowing expectant mother I talked to before church yesterday. You're counting down the days until you get to cradle this incredible blessing. You could be like the handful of friends of mine who are now engaged and gushing over bridal magazines; their little girl dreams finally coming true. Maybe you're the college student waiting for direction. Or you're simply waiting for work to come in our economy's downward spiral. What's your personal Advent?

I'm waiting on countless things right now. Some are heavier on my heart than others. One in particular that's caused countless prayers and tears. The ironic thing is that it's a joyful thing... a person. But it's not easy by any means. Living in tension never is. Fears, worries, anxieties, and frustrations rear their ugly head. If you're like me, you're tempted to listen to them rather than the hope that's being whispered to your heart. You're torn. Part of you wants to just give up. After all, that would be easiest thing to do. But then the other part of you can't give up because despite it's difficulty "it's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want." Tension. 

Tension can be tiring to the human soul, heart, and mind. Tension brings weariness with it. I believe you and I can relate to the Israelites in this way. Tension for 400 years surely had to have been exhausting for the nation. But, they pressed on with hope and continued to pray and persevere. So must we. And when the weariness sinks in, find rest in God's promises. Kindle hope. Morning shall eventually break forth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
~O Holy Night~

2 comments :

  1. Natalie, this was such a great post. I don't want to get into what my advent is but its there and I loved what you said, quoted or from you... "its hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but its even harder to give up when you know its everything you want."

    So absolutely true! I'm doing my best to rest in His promises, this morning.
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  2. this is beautiful natalie!! i have been thinking about God's silence for the 400 years and how He even quietly brought Christ into the world... humbly and quietly....it makes me realize that His voice can be so quiet sometimes...His voice is usually still and small and if im not looking for it or expecting it, i might miss it. im sure many missed the birth of the Messiah because they had given up on seeking God in the silence. i dont want that to be me! anyway, sorry for the rambling, i just really love this post :)

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