Four hundred years is a long time...like...a really long time. I can't imagine God being completely silent for four hundred years. And yet that is what happened in the period of time between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. I try to think of the stories, promises really, being passed down from generation to generation, for over 20 generations, with no glimpse of their fulfillment. I wonder at what point some young people started saying, "Yeah...I'm not so sure about that. We haven't seen anything that looks even remotely like this promised Messiah. Mom, Dad, are you SURE?"
And then, within a few short months, an angel appeared to three different people: Zechariah, Mary, and to Joseph in a dream. Slowly, subtly, the miracle began to manifest. Can you even imagine what these three people must have been trying to process in their brains? Could it be that all the stories of God's promised Messiah were actually coming to pass? Did they even connect their heavenly visitors with anything so earth-shaking, so remarkable as the Savior of the world?
I have certainly felt that silence, that perception that God is not fulfilling promises in my own life. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. Doubt creeping in, faith wavering, but holding on to the promises nonetheless. That's what makes Advent so amazing to me. We wait in the dark, with nothing tangible to grab onto, and we stare at these singular candles piercing the darkness of the winter night, and we dare to hope that His love can reach down this far. And then, on Christmas morning, we realize the wait is over. It's finally time for the promise fulfilled...this miracle called Jesus.
"He doesn't withhold Jesus from you. Christ is all your good, and He is all yours, and this is always be all your miracle. No matter the barrenness you feel, you can always have as much of Jesus as you want." Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
Walking With the Promise
Take a short walk today and talk to God about your doubts, your fears, and the places you aren't quite sure God can touch. Come to Him just as you are and confess that you need to keep hoping that the promise is coming...because it really is, and when we commemorate it in just a few short days, may you embrace it in its entirety.