LONG AWAITED HOPE - December 1, 2022
Thursday, December 1st
Advent Devotional #5 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
LONG AWAITED HOPE
Nine months. That is how long a mother and father wait to see their newborn. From the promise to Adam and Eve in the Garden to Abraham, David, Isaiah, and then Mary and Joseph, thousands of years passed before the baby they all longed to meet was born. From promise to prophecy to pregnancy, God birthed hope in the hearts through the coming Wonderful Counselor King.
Charles Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination, wrote a collection of eighteen Christmas hymns for the holidays of 1745. One of his carols he included is entitled “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” His holiday hymn speaks of the waiting and watching for the promised Messiah.
We struggle to wait just a few minutes in traffic or to get our kids from soccer practice after school. Small children ask, “Are we there yet?” on a long holiday road trip to the grandparents. Excitement builds for the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas morning. Nine months is nothing when you have waited thousands of years for a Messiah.
One of the hardest and most powerful truths we need to learn is: God is not in a hurry.
Paul writes in Galatians 4:4, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son…” Not too soon. Not too late. God showed up right on time. In your moment of waiting, God will show up at just the right time. We often fail to see how God can be doing anything for our good while we are waiting. Yet consider all the waiting throughout the Bible. Noah waited for the floods to recede. Moses waited in the desert for a calling for 40 years. Ruth waited as a widow to be remarried. Hannah waited for years to have a son. David waited to be king. Elijah waited by a brook. Daniel waited in a lion’s den. The Jews waited through four hundred years of silence. No prophet, no priest, no angel, and no promised Messiah to tell them of any good to come.
Wesley’s lilting holiday favorite “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” says, “Hope of all the earth thou art / Dear desire of every nation / Joy of every longing heart.” Jesus truly is the hope and joy of all we wait for.
Prayer: God, thank you for your perfect timing. I trust you are never early or late but just on time. Help me to trust that you are working in my waiting. I will trust that you are always good even in your timing while I’m waiting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen