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Slower than Christmas

Slower than Christmas

Waiting for promises to become realities
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Hope—the magnification of Scriptural promises into believable realities—is the instrument that connects longing with joy and makes waiting bearable. It is also, according to Hebrews 11:1, the crux of faith. Like faith, though, hope takes effort, especially when we face difficulty. We operate in the present moment and are likely to be distracted by current problems and concerns. Through hope, though, we look behind and before us, focusing our attention not only on the old promises but on the trustworthiness of the Promiser and on the evidence—so easily overlooked—that what one hopes for might actually be coming to pass.

Christmas is, for me, a yearly lesson in hope. All the jolly promises seem empty, I think, as I pack up presents to send to nieces and nephews, hammer the stocking loops onto the lintel, and sit in a pew listening to sermons and songs about this good news of great joy everyone should be experiencing. At Christmas, as at no other time, I long for God's promised presence—for joy itself—but, unlike Mary, I often invest little in the hope of actually experiencing it. 

Mary waited purposefully. She not only submitted to God's will, but examined her situation, as through a magnifying glass, in search of God's ancient promises. Faced with difficulty and confusion, she peered closer, looking for joy—and she found it.

Patty Kirk, a regular contributor to our Walk with Me blog, is an adjunct professor of English at John Brown University, and is author of Confessions of an Amateur Believer (Thomas Nelson). www.amateurbeliever.com

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Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments

Hope Ferguson

December 28, 2012  2:48pm

Very beautifully articulated and thoughtful article. I found myself nodding in recognition of the waiting upon joy -- with hope.

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Jan Dykgraaff Sydney, Australia.

December 26, 2008  4:04pm

Lord God as we come in the most powerful Name of Jesus Christ into Your Presence, we praise You for Your covenant love to us and Your promises already mentioned in this article; we do uplift to You Patty asking for healing of her memories, especially that ugly sexual violation; may she be given of your great strength to release that memory into Your hands, so that in Your most perfect timing she will forgive that man who forced her long ago. We thank You for her husband & the family who accept her as You do, with unconditional love; please uphold them all, increase their love and service to You and to one another at this holy time as we all await Jesus coming again, as He said He would. May we also look to You Jehovah Jireh for Your faithful provision of all our needs, Amen. Thanks !

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December 23, 2008  8:35am

Beautifully written, this piece was exactly what I needed to hear this year. I'm waiting...Patty has encouraged me to wait in hope.

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