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    Advent Reflections

    Thursday, December 20, 2018

    Advent, described by Merriam-Webster as two events: “the coming of Christ at the Incarnation; Second Coming.” The first Advent of Jesus’ birth has come and we are anxiously awaiting the second Advent of Jesus’ return.

    I ponder the years of waiting the children of Israel experienced for the first Advent. From the promise made to Adam that a serpent-crusher would come to the Hope declared through Isaiah of the Mighty God and Prince of Peace. Then 400 years of silence where not a word from God was spoken.

    400 years. Silence. Waiting.

    Earlier this year, I wrestled through a period of silence from God. My heart had been broken. My hope deferred. My confidence shaken.

    And I longed for the advent of hearing God speak. I waited. I prayed. I read His Promises.

    Finally, like a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, I received an answer. "I'm not done with your singleness." These exact words were spoken to my heart by the Still, Small Voice. And I cried.

    This meant my waiting was not over yet. My longings to be married would not be fulfilled in the timing that I had wanted.

    “Advent is a painful and necessary reminder that in ways both big and small, all is not yet right in our world . . . It’s here in the undefined waiting and wandering that Advent challenges us the most. This season reminds us that God has not promised us every little or big desire of our heart - instead, he promised us himself” (Brianna DeWitt, What Advent Waiting Means for Singles).

    Waiting for marriage is an earthly desire that may or may not come true. But truly all longings reveal deeper longings that Jesus has placed there. My yearning for marriage mirror the Church’s yearnings for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This waiting will be fulfilled and is for something that was promised. Much like the Israelites, I am longing for Advent. I long for Jesus to come and claim His Bride, the Church.

    After God spoke, bringing news I didn’t really want to hear, He also delivered something else. Peace. A wave of calmness and strength from the Lord. Reminders that the promise for me isn’t earthly marriage but is truly the marriage of Jesus and His bride, the Church.

    Sister, we are not guaranteed that our desires to be married will be fulfilled. We are not promised a happy, healthy life. But in the painful waiting for the Second Advent, we are promised something far greater - Jesus. Wait for Him with the knowledge that He will come.

    “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

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