Worth the Wait…

Today is such a special day for me.  It’s the day that 7 years ago we found out we were going to be parents.  For most they probably forget the actual date…but not me.  It was such miraculous news and the transformation that happened in my life can only be explained by the hand of God.  With the news of new life came a paradigm shift from not being able to see anything but myself to constantly thinking of someone else whose life was dependent upon my own.  As my doctor tells it…These babies have been God’s best medicine for you.  I remember those 9 months being very loooooong waiting in anxious anticipation to meet our very special little girl whom God sent to rescue me face to face.  While my nerve pain wasn’t as intense during pregnancy and thankfully everything from blood pressure to glucose levels were textbook and the our baby grew healthy and strong I vividly remember constant leg cramps, back aches, terrible sleep patterns, stretch marks so bad that they bled and nearly 60 pounds added to my 5′ 1″ frame.  Needless to say…our pride and joy Emalynn Elizabeth was well worth the wait…and the weight…and everything in between.  Little did I know being my first time around how quickly the time goes after the long 9 months once our sweet pea arrived.  I have enjoyed every second!

Fast forward 7 years and 2 more babies later and it is officially Christmas at our house!  My husband shockingly…not once…has he made a Martha Stewart comment!?  Perhaps we’re making progress?  Our first year of putting the Christmas tree in the basement…thus a door between it and the Jack Attack…has backfired a little bit because porcelain tile and glass bulbs mean breakage.  We’ve only lost a total of 5 so far…here’s hoping.  One of my favorite traditions is our Advent log on top of the piano.  A reminder that while we celebrate His birth which happened over 2000 years ago, we are waiting for Jesus and His coming return…our Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  But just like I couldn’t wait for each of our babies to arrive…I wish I could say that I am always patient in my waiting for Jesus.

I keep hoping, praying that I will allow nothing…absolutely nothing…to take my joy of celebrating my Savior this Christmas season.  Not the insanity of black Friday and the chaos that not the over-commercialism…after all if everyone bought gifts in Jesus name I would be ecstatic…but the blatant ignoring and denial of Christ of the vast majority of our society during this season…not the people asking my children about what they want from Santa Claus (I’m not even going to go there)…and certainly not the increasing nerve pain that for some reason is mounting in the past few weeks.  I want nothing to take away or steal my joy.  But this waiting…wondering…Lord…why don’t you just come back?

I got my answer after the house was decorated and the ambiance of soft Christmas lights were glowing.  After the boxes were put away and I was sitting with my bible in 2 Peter chapter 3.  Why doesn’t Jesus just come back…why must we wait?   I am having such a hard time seeing past this pain…and I know better!  He hasn’t returned because God is merciful and He wants as many people to come to know Him as possible.  Our concept of time is so warped compared to that of our Heavenly Father.  Scripture says my life is but a vapor…even if it feels like perpetual, never-ending suffering…it is so small…this too shall pass.  It’s not about me!  Praise God!  I really needed to hear that!  While I thought I knew that, God made it hit home for me.

Last night we started our Advent Devotional with these precious children and one of the questions was “What do you hope for?”  I suspected a certain toy or game or something like that.  Our little Maxwell said “I hope for a house in Heaven…just a small one.”  Talk about melt my heart and smack me in the face with some perspective!  While keeping my eye on the prize is important…my work here is not finished.  God has plans for me and I am not just passing through.  With every candle we light in our Advent log we wait…but all the while we must be working so that others will not just know about Jesus…not just know what He did…but know Him…walk with Him…make Him the Lord of their lives. 

I am so thankful God has revealed the importance of His grace and mercy.  After all…He certainly didn’t have to extend His grace to me and save me from a life of merely physically living in darkness.  But in all of His abounding love and grace, He did in His own perfect time…and He wants to do that for every living human being.  He wants them to know Him and live with Him in Light and love forever.    If I think my babies were worth the long 9 months of pain and discomfort…imagine how much greater the reward of finally seeing Jesus face to face will be.  He will be well worth the wait for me…no matter how much it hurts in the meantime.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.  2 Peter 3:8-13

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   John 16:33

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