Joy in the Wait
We live in a world where everything happens instantaneously. “I want it now!” Click, receive. If we need groceries we can order them online and have someone deliver it to our door. Need a gift? With a few clicks Amazon will deliver it tomorrow. Hungry? Get a pressure cooker and your cooking time will be cut in half. We have become a society that is rarely expected to wait on anything. If you need to speak to someone, no need to make a phone call, shoot them a text because no one wants to wait for the phone to ring, or god forbid have to leave a message. Waiting has become a thing of the past. Last month I wrote about the suffocation of anticipation and how anticipating something can be hard to do, when you are hoping or expecting specific results. How do your kids act when they have to wait to open presents on Christmas? How do you act when YOU have to wait for something you want? Yet, we are asked to wait for the best gift we will ever receive. This past Sunday was the first Sunday of the season of Advent, which literally means “expectant waiting,” “anticipation.” There is that word again, but this time we are waiting on birth of Christ. We are waiting on His return. So, how do we find joy in the wait? We don’t “find” it, we choose it. And the only way to choose it is to know the source.
All the way back to Adam and Eve, though sin had entered the world and we would assume there was no joy to be found, we are wrong. There was joy, because God provided Hope, Grace and Forgiveness despite Adam and Eve’s choices. When Abraham and Sarah longed for a baby, God told Abraham in Genesis 15:5 “to look toward the heavens and to count the stars, so shall your descendants be.” Sarah didn’t get pregnant immediately so Abraham entered into an expectant waiting period, a season of anticipation, a season of Advent. There was no Joy in Egypt when Moses was born, there was no joy when the plaques began to sweep over the people, except for the promise that an unblemished lamb would save the people from the tenth plaque. Exodus 12:5 Just as the baby in a manger, the unblemished Lamb of God, would take away the sin of the world and save us. John 1:29
There was joy amongst separation, joy amongst longing and joy amongst pain. The same God who was providing that joy, is the same God who provided us a Savior. When we choose Him; we choose real Joy. Despite our circumstances and despite our pain, our relationship with Christ is where true Joy comes from.
This past Friday night our church had an event called Angels of light, I had the privilege of hosting a table of “angels.” Two of the children at the table were just placed into their newest foster home. A 7-year-old who has been in 8 homes and a 5-year-old who has been in 4. These babies anticipate when they will have a place to call home, a woman to call mommy and a man to call daddy. I am sure in their little worlds they hope to be reunited with all of their siblings one day, one has 3 the other 9. Their lives clearly are not easy but, from the moment these two stepped off the bus they were all smiles, they danced and skipped through the procession of people giving them high fives, and clapping for them. As I walked with them I noticed they had joy, light, love, and excitement with each step, twirl and hop. They brought smiles to every single person they came in contact with. As the night unfolded I watched the twinkle in their eye, it was there despite their circumstances. The church had given the kids small boxes of crayons and while talking to the 7-year-old, I asked her who were the people on the box? (It was a small manger scene) She said this “that’s Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus and he came here and was born in Bethlehem and then he road on a donkey and he died and was resurrected, for us.” She spoke with the confidence of someone who has been preaching the gospel all their lives. No hesitation at all, childlike faith. Iceasis (pronounced Isis) was her name and she knows who her Lord and Savior is. Her joy comes from a place that most couldn’t explain considering the life this little one has led in 7 short years. She was a light, she was filled with joy though we all know her life is full of anticipation, she has “expectant waiting” for the day she will have a home. She ended her night trying to give me her crayons, because she said, “I want you to remember me” it was all I could do not snatch her up and take her home with me. I took the picture above and assured her I would never forget her. She also said, “I really hope I get to see you again.” I will work to make that happen on this side of heaven, but what I know is this. I will see you again little one, one day we won’t live our lives anticipating the Lords return, or our reunion with him, one day we will reside in his presence and there will be no more anticipating and waiting. As simple as a child would say it… because the Bible tells us so. May we all have unexplainable joy like Iceasis this holiday season.
Once again here is one of my favorite bands For King & Country and one of my favorite songs JOY!
Until next time,