Today is the beginning of this year’s advent season—a season where the church community waits in anticipation for the coming of the birth of our Savior. This season is typically marked in church services by lighting candles each of the four Sundays leading up to the Sunday before Christmas then lighting the Christ candle on Christmas Eve.

Shining light in darkness.

Bringing hope to the waiting.

Anticipating the arrival of a child.

Those statements seem oddly familiar to us these days as we wait in many ways for what is next in our journey—a hope for what is to come, as we seek to still be a light to a dark world, and as we wait with great joy for the arrival of our own little one.

A season of waiting is where we find ourselves. But not in the passive kind of waiting one typically thinks of. This season becomes a time of preparation—preparing for a child, sending out resumes in hopes of a ministry position, allowing the Lord to conform us even more into the image of Christ for the sake of others. It all takes time. And we have been given a gift of time in our waiting.

Sometimes the waiting becomes a time of longing. Longing to see our child. Longing to be somewhat settled and no longer in a place of transition. Longing to know where it is He is leading us for the future. 

Yet that’s the thing about this advent season: it cannot be rushed. The birth of a child will come at just the right moment. The hope will be fulfilled at the appropriate time. The light will pierce through the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it.

For unto us a child is born…

We hold out hope that Christ is an anchor for our soul—firm and secure. He is our shepherd. He will lead us beside still waters for His Name’s sake. 

As the book of Luke says of Mary many times as she thinks on her little boy who she knows is the Messiah they have been waiting for: she pondered these things in her heart.

I ponder these things in my heart as we wait—knowing He has plans. Knowing these plans cannot be rushed. Knowing the time of waiting is very necessary for us to be become and to be who we were and are created to be.

Hope will be found—a child, direction for life, transition ending. There will be suffering involved—childbirth, moving again one day, possibly saying more goodbyes. But joy will be there on the other side. Like a hope for what is to come. Waiting.

And joy is found in this season of waiting as we look forward in great anticipation for the birth of our daughter, as we spend time with one another and our friends and family, and as we grow together in His Word. There is much joy in the waiting.