I rarely buy something the first time I want it. I’ll wait a few days or months or weeks to see if the waiting will rid me of the wanting. But when it doesn’t and I finally purchase something that I have longed for, the longing makes the purchase more pleasant and significant.

I was reminded this morning that Advent is about waiting. And waiting is about longing, expectation and faith. The Advent season is a reminder that we should be longing for God’s personal presence and reign in this world. It’s a reminder that expectation heightens the gift of Christ, and expectation is only found through faith.

It’s hard to imagine what the first Advent season looked like. Mary and Joseph were obviously anxiously awaiting Christ’s arrival. The Israelites heard prophecy of this day for hundreds and thousands of years. Further, it’s obvious that the first Advent season was filled with adversity. Mary’s reputation had been disgraced because she carried Christ in her womb. Joseph’s reputation had been disgraced because he stuck by Mary’s side choosing, in faith, to believe her remarkable story. They were being forced to travel for a census. And as the night approached, they were forced to sleep and give birth in a stable.

It seems that enduring hardships while waiting will heighten the gift even more.

God has seemed distant and silent lately. He hasn’t responded quickly or quietly or slowly or loudly. He’s not giving clear directions. He and I are waiting. Thankfully, He knows what we’re waiting for, but I simply wait. With expectation. With faith. With longing for Him to move more fully into my life. While I’m tired of this Advent season in my life, I know that the day–the day when waiting will cease, in part and eventually in whole–will be sweeter because of the wait.

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