Bible Verse: Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 13:12
In the mid-1980s, I was six years old, and all I wanted for Christmas was a computer.
I must have seen one on a show or in a movie, as home computers were not widespread at that point, but in my 6-year-old wisdom, all I needed in life was a computer, at a time when that would set you back $8-10,000 in today’s money. I can’t imagine I even understood what a computer was.
I still vividly remember the Christmas season that year. A computer was the only thing I wanted. The countdown was on. I was so excited. I didn’t know for sure if I would get one, but the anticipation was real and intense.
That Christmas morning, I raced to the tree, found a box with my name on it, tore off the wrapping paper, and beheld my new computer, and my joy was complete.
Now, my parents were generous but not foolish. It wasn’t a ridiculously expensive home computer. They had bought me a toy computer from Sears that did simple spelling and math games. It was glorious to me, and when I looked it up online just now, I found a video showing it off, and I was instantly 6 years old again. It’s simple and lame by today’s standards, of course, but at that time, at my age, it was truly amazing.
The waiting had paid off. The anticipation had been fulfilled. I loved that toy so much, and it hung around for years before it eventually broke.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” While a child’s Christmas anticipation is a relatively silly application of such a beautiful verse, it points to truth in much more significant matters.
Hope always requires waiting. We hope because we are looking for something more. We hope because we have been promised something. We hope because we know there is more to life than this.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Israel had been waiting for literally thousands of years for the Messiah to arrive—waiting, and hoping. Trusting God to do what He said. Pushing through the dark and doubting times.
And when we do this, Isaiah says, when we wait on and hope in the Lord, we encounter strength. Waiting and hoping isn’t always easy, but we will have the grace we need to wait upon the Lord. We will find strength where there was none in order to push through. Like eagles, we’ll catch the air current of the Spirit and soar, leaning on the wind and not on ourselves.
Waiting and hoping is part of what Christmas is all about. We hope and trust because He is good and because He is faithful.
Prayer: Lord, in accordance with Your Word, strengthen me in my waiting as I put my hope in You. Amen.
Reflection: When you think back to previous waiting times in your life, what has helped you get through them? How might that help you now, whatever you are waiting on God for?
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