We nearly drown ourselves in expectations as we turn the final month of the calendar. Gifts, parties, gathering and lists fill our days, even on the year we said, not this year. The expectation of the season can be full of joy as we focus our hearts on the One who was, is and will be.
We lean into that, knowing our peace comes from Him.
Ultimately, I pack up the ornaments in early January and still feel the longing of unmet expectations. Not because the gifts failed or the parties failed or the company failed. But because they never truly could carry the weight of Advent expectations.
Even the first coming of Christ was met with unfulfilled expectations.
Mary, full with Child and needing a place to birth her baby, was rejected and offered an animal’s stable. Joseph, betrothed to a woman who was pregnant by another’s child, laid aside his own rights and took her as his wife and raising her firstborn son. Jesus, Savior of the world, stepping into darkness and sin to offer redemption is offered cold straw in a stuffy barn to lay His head.
She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.Luke 2:7
Not the ideal conditions for giving birth, and quite a failed place for laying the perfect Son of God. Did the expectations fall short? Or were they exactly the plan all along?
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8
Rather than holding to our expectations this Christmas season, what if we slowed down, leaned in and listened to the heart of God through His Word and allowed Him to give us His perspective of expectation?
When asked what is it that You expect, Lord? Jesus said to them, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-39) Our hearts are to be tethered to the Father in love and overflowing in love towards others rather than tangled in lights and overrun with expectations.
Let’s offer Him our heart today and ask Him to give us His expectation for the season.
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