By Vallarie Fendley
Our hearts are filled with longing and expectancy as we await Christmas day, when we will celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. This coming season of joy is preceded by a time of waiting: Advent. During this season,we prepare our hearts for the coming of our King.
As a child, my family would buy boxes with pieces of chocolate inside them for each day of Advent. Now we celebrate by reading a short devotional each night after dinner. Last year, I also read a devotional on my Bible app with a traditional Christmas hymn for each day of waiting. All of this was done to prepare our family’s hearts for Christmas and for Jesus.
Excitement for Christ’s birth is normal and we encourage it! This excitement should be contained however, and not turned into impatience. Joy will come with time. The beauty of waiting rests in knowing there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. That light of course is Christ. We cannot fully enjoy Him without the proper waiting period. We will enjoy Him much more if we wait and see the beauty of His light revealed, piece by precious piece.
Growing up, wondering what would lie under the Christmas tree always excited me. Sometimes, it was too exciting and it was very easy to slip into impatience! As I have gotten older, it has become easier to be content in waiting for the big day, though I am still delighted to receive presents.
During junior year at Morning Star, one of my assignments was to write a soliloquy similar to Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech. The soliloquy I wrote was titled “To be content or not to be content.” This assignment helped me to remember that waiting is good because it teaches contentment. This contentment is not automatically the product of waiting however. Contentment requires focusing on God and praising Him, not only in waiting, but in all circumstances. Each year, as I grow closer to this goal of being content while waiting, Advent becomes an even more enjoyable season.
This year as we celebrate Advent, we can look forward to the light of Christ’s birth while also being content to wait. This patience will make the event of Christmas even more joyful. And we can do this together! We can encourage one another to be content while we prepare ourselves for this joy that is set before us.