Posted by: Jo | December 13, 2013

The Joy Of Waiting

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

imageSome time ago a friend shared with me a delightful tradition that her family kept during Advent. When she was young her mother set up the Christmas nativity scene on the mantle above the fireplace, but with one exception. Yes, Mary and Joseph were there and of course the shepherds and animals, but the little manger was empty. At the beginning of December the baby Jesus figure was placed way across the room from the fireplace. Last thing at night when the children were in bed, her mother would move the small figure a little bit closer to the manger. The children would jump out of bed in the morning to see how close baby Jesus had moved. Of course their joy was complete on Christmas morning to see him safe in the manger with Mary and Joseph looking after him. I was so impressed with this mother helping the children to understand this important part of the Christmas story, the waiting!

Waiting is something that can be very tiresome for all of us, but imagine what waiting that nine months was for Mary. She had just experienced what must have been the most startling experience in her young life and then she had to endure the long wait to see God’s promise to her come true.

Perhaps she thought back to the oracle that reassured her people that God was not like mortal man and he can be trusted to keep his promises;

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of a man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)

Mary’s acceptance of both the promise of what was to come, and the long wait, is a wonderful example of trust in her Heavenly Father and she responds by praising God;

“…My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.” (Luke 1:46 – 48)

We may be experiencing a waiting period in our own lives. We may be waiting through a painful medical therapy. We may be waiting for a loved one to come to an awakening of who Jesus Christ is. Perhaps waiting for a promised job to materialise. Maybe waiting for forgiveness and reconciliation in a broken relationship. We may think our wait will never end, but whatever the wait maybe we can take strength in the beautiful words the angel said to Mary.  image

“For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

God fulfilled his beautiful promise to Mary and to all mankind in the arrival of the blessed baby, the Saviour of the world.

During this Advent season we can sing the lovely old hymns with confidence that yes, he has come and will return as he promised. Charles Wesley wrote one of my favourites;

Come thou long expected Jesus

Born to set your people free

From our fears and sins release us,

Let us find our rest in thee.

Born thy people to deliver

Born a child and yet a king

Born to reign in us forever

Now thy gracious kingdom bring.

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Responses

  1. Thankyou Jo for your reminder of Gods wonderful words and promise. My wonderful daughter in law here in Ottawa loved it and has asked to be part of your list to receive more. Be thinking of you all on Thursday .Jennifer

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  2. Wonderful, Jo – thanks! The top photo may or may not portray Simeon in the Temple, but it reminds me of him. God had told him that he would see the Messiah in his lifetime and that’s what he had been waiting for. God’s promise was fulfilled and he said he could then go in peace.
    As you suggest, we can go in peace that God’s promise has been (and all will be) fulfilled.

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  3. nice words ..you have a marry christmasand a happy new year you and the family…

    On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM, God Speaking

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