Advent Reflections

by becomingbethany

Waiting, longing, hoping, praying, crossing fingers, anticipating…

Waiting for*:
a spouse.
a baby.
to get well.
your baby to get well.
your mom to get well.
your grandpa to get well.
your marriage to get well.
your heart to feel whole.
a job.
a job that’s fulfilling.
a job that makes enough to feed your family.
your work and talent to get noticed and be appreciated.
a house.
a home.
a car that runs.
new friends.
a call/email/text/letter from an estranged loved one.
your parent to come home.
your son or daughter to come home.
that call you’ve been waiting for.
everything to come together.
grace.
wisdom.
direction in life.
justice to be done.
war to end.
(*This is just a brief list of things I have been asked by friends to pray for in 2014.)

We are all waiting, longing, hoping, praying, crossing fingers, anticipating so many things that can’t come wrapped in a package or dropped in a stocking or delivered by Amazon.

We are reminded: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

We are told to be more realistic. To accept the diagnosis, the angry last words, the reality of the job market or the low bank account balance.

But what if we accept reality and still want more? What if we acknowledge the world as it really is but also still wait, long, hope, pray, cross fingers, and anticipate?

“But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

I hope, pray, and cross my fingers that waiting will enlarge my soul and that longing will grow my heart. That just as a seed stuck into the dirt can one day become a great tree, hopes, desires, and longings placed in the deep dark places of my heart and soul can take root and grow into something much larger than the original desire.

I want to allow waiting, longing, hoping, praying, crossing fingers, and anticipating to change me, to mature me, to make me wiser, more gracious, loving, and far-seeing than I currently am. I want to allow the road of possibility to extend long and broad before me.

Waiting, longing, hoping, praying, crossing fingers, and anticipating is hard and painful and sometimes feels so futile and pointless. It’s often heart-breaking and disappointing.

But the alternative frightens me. To place limits on what can be. To erect locked gates to the road of possibility. To decide that the reality I see immediately before me is all that will ever be. That growth, healing, love, hope fulfilled, justice, and peace are impossibilities. That’s a reality to horrifying for me to imagine.

So Christmas morning will come and probably none of the things I have been waiting, longing, hoping, praying, crossing fingers, and anticipating will be under my tree. (I really, really wish they could be!) But I’m ok with that.

I will just keep waiting, longing, hoping, praying, crossing fingers, and anticipating that my heart and soul are enlarging. That growth, healing, love, hope fulfilled, justice, and peace are on the long, broad road stretched out before me.

And I will wait, long, hope, pray, cross fingers, and anticipate that for you too, dear friend. For as long as your road is also.

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