by Katie Pearson
“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.’” - Luke 1:39-45
How comfortable are you with waiting? As the Advent season draws to a close, it’s valuable to stop and assess whether our souls are strengthened through anticipating the return of Christ or whether they are frustrated and discouraged. Advent is intended to be an immersion in the holy tension of “already” but “not yet.” We know Jesus, the bright morning star, has risen in our lives and hearts, and his return is inevitable. But when? That’s not just a great secret—it’s the great secret. And there is no doubt that it’s better that we don’t know.
For me, this year has made me a veteran in both waiting and mystery of a different sort. Last spring, after several years of odd symptoms, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Even after it became apparent that MS was the likely culprit, I spent hours in waiting rooms, waiting on hold for appointments, waiting for results, and ultimately waiting for a diagnosis. But identifying the problem doesn’t solve it—now I’m waiting to see how this all plays out. No doubt, waiting has become wearisome.
Then along comes Advent to remind me that waiting and mystery are HOLY. Rather than mustering up stoic endurance, this is a season of patient expectation. We know what’s coming with Christ’s eventual return, and we can rest assured that it’s far better than we can ask or imagine. Waiting in this sense is completely redeemed for me, and I hope it gives you pause to remember that the diagnosis for all of us is saved by grace.
Elizabeth and Mary are both holy examples of allowing waiting to enlarge their souls and open their hearts to Christ. As they carry their sons within, they are deeply aware of God’s presence and trust in his greater purpose for their lives. Despite all the unknowns, their hearts beat with the joy of Advent, and the promise that they are part of God’s divine plan for redemption.
Where is God asking you to embrace mystery and live in holy anticipation this Christmas? Regardless of your role in the greatest story ever told, can you praise God for all that your life entails today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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