As I write this, I’m sitting in the airport waiting for a flight out. The wifi won’t connect, so I’ll wait to post this until I’ve reached my destination and get online again in a day or two. I’m waiting to eat dinner until I find something I can afford. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
As I wait, I’ve been watching travelers at various stages of their journeys over the last hour or so. Some seem sad and anxious. Others seem excited and expectant of the celebrations to come. I wonder to myself where they’re all going, how long they’ve been waiting, and if their expectations will be met.
I’ve been thinking about the season of Advent a lot these last few weeks. In my experience, expectations are almost always different from the reality that follows. Good or bad, things in life don’t often play out the way we expect. When people were looking for the coming Messiah, they never expected Him to come as a baby born in a stable. They never expected the Christ to be a carpenter, to enlist a ragtag team of men to be His disciples, or to die a criminal’s death on a cross. So many people’s expectations were so polar opposite of the reality that took place, that they missed Him entirely.
I have to remind myself that what I’m waiting for probably won’t look like I expect when it finally does arrive. In many cases, it will be infinitely better than anything my finite mind could have imagined. In some cases, I’ll be sorely disappointed. But that is Advent. It is full of quiet longing and expectation and hope, but it is also dark and uncertain. I’ve waited a lot in my life, and I’m still waiting for many things. I’m waiting for a job. I’m waiting for my future husband. I’m waiting for babies to hold. I’m waiting for healing to take place. I’m waiting for understanding. Most of all, I’m waiting for God to restore what the locusts have eaten–to make all things new. And He will, but it probably won’t look anything like I expect.
These days may be dark and uncertain, but my heart is full of quiet longing and eagerly waits to shout, “The Christ has come! Emmanuel, God with us!” Merry Christmas. He really does make all things new.