For a lot of my life, I hated you. Not exactly true — I didn’t hate you, I was afraid of you, and fear likes to masquerade as hate. It’s because every year during the first couple weeks of Advent we talk about the Second Coming, the end times. I know people who love hearing about that — it even gives them hope. For me, it was almost debilitating how much it frightened me. I don’t know how my head and my heart learned to associate you and the end of time with so much fear, but it did.
Slowly, over the last few years, there’s been healing. There’s been relearning. There’s been an overflowing of God’s mercy towards me that has taught me that I matter, that God knows me and loves me personally and wills my good. At this point in my life, there is still fear. But just a tiny bit stronger than the fear is hope.
Nothing makes sense without love. Without knowing that God loved me, you were just something to remind me to be afraid, very afraid, that I better shape up because that was my only hope.
But I am loved. Infinitely. Wisely. Unselfishly. And that puts you in perspective.
God came to us as a helpless baby. He will come again as a mighty King. That is what we’re waiting for.
Today I reflected on something I have only recently learned — that you are a season of joyful waiting. Waiting is not something I typically associate with joy. But I thought about women are pregnant, waiting to meet their new baby. That waiting may involve sorrow, uncertainty, fear, and suffering. Still, what they wait for makes the waiting worth it.
What we wait for is beautiful. What we wait for is good.
Thank you for coming around every year to remind me of that.