It’s Almost Christmastime

almost christmastimeMy fingertips are cracked. The weather is cooling, and winter is coming.

The gloom.
The wait.
The ache.
The longing.

I wonder about the Israelites looking for their Messiah, wondering who it would be and if it would happen in their lifetime. I wonder how they felt in exile and what it must’ve been like to be one of those who returned. Does God still mean what He said to us long ago? Do His promises still hold? Is He with us now as He was then? 

I wonder about the heaviness of the silence before the Baby was born- how the older generation mourned the olden days while the younger generation couldn’t even imagine what it had been like, and no one could have imagined what life would be like with the coming Savior.

I wonder what it was like to be Mary, to hold the Promise in her womb, and to be the one who brought Him into this world.

The Light.
The Joy.
The Love.
The Hope.

It’s almost Christmastime, and I wonder how many of us are in the gloom, in the wait, in the ache. I wonder how many of us are hoping for new life and light, how many of us are longing to be saved out of our pits, out of our ruts, out of the loneliness that sits heavy in our hearts.

It’s almost Christmastime, but really, it’s already here. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicesHe has come. He is with us now. Take heart, dear friends. He is Immanuel, and He is coming again soon.

Waiting Well

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When I’ve done all that I could possibly do, and there isn’t a single thing left on my to-do list to check off, panic sets in, and I feel the heaviness in my gut. I trick my mind into feeling productive by worrying all day and waiting impatiently for things to happen that are beyond my control.
Waiting is hard.
It requires me to let go of things I want to hold on to- mostly control.Waiting tests in whom I put my trust.
It forces me to face the fact that I put more trust in myself than in God and that’s why I have a hard time letting go.Waiting begs for surrender.

There is no one more loving, no one with better plans, no one more in control than our God, and when we can believe that this is true, we can surrender our worry, our fears, plans and hopes.

*Print by Becki Campbell

When You Can’t See His Plan

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I’m listening through Exodus right now, and I’m struck by how long the Israelites had to wait. They were in slavery for generations crying out to God for deliverance but were met with silence. They must have wondered why God wasn’t showing up. They must have despaired and lost hope from time to time or completely. They must have felt abandoned and forgotten. But God was working out their deliverance.

Then there was Moses – rescued at birth, raised into royalty, privileged, and then stripped of everything after he killed the Egyptian. He fled his country and everything he knew to live as a stranger in a new land. He got married, tended sheep, and lived a completely different life for 40 years. Not privileged. Not royalty. But completely humbled.

God was working His plan over the many years that the Israelites couldn’t see what He was doing. He was waiting for Moses to be born, to be humbled, and to be ready to lead. I don’t know why it had to be Moses and why generations had to pass by before deliverance came, and sometimes I rage and question His logic and His goodness when I try to figure things out from my perspective. The only thing I can conclude is that it just was the way it was and that His timing was His timing. Not always a satisfying answer, but I’m learning to be ok with it because out of the pain, the anguish, and the waiting came a deliverance no one could’ve imagined.

And Moses? God was weaving His plan in Moses’ life and the Israelites’ history, and Moses had no idea what was about to happen when he was shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep. God took him from a place of humiliation and humility and raised him up to lead His people out of slavery.

I want to make sense of it all, but I can’t. And now I’m thinking that it’s a good thing we have stories like these in the Bible because so many things in life don’t make sense either. We don’t know the why’s or the how’s or the what if’s, and we don’t know how long we might have to wait or pray for something before we get an answer. Honestly, we may never get an answer, but through these stories we know that God is still there. We know that He’s always with us even when it doesn’t feel like it, and we know that He is working out our deliverance or our calling in the unseen.

Let’s not give up crying out. Let’s not give up being faithful in the season we’re in. Let’s not quit too soon on God because a shift may just be around the corner.