Advent - Waiting
There are moments in the past year, I've found myself questioning the manner in which God delivers his promises. They haven't arrived neatly packaged, with instructions or even in the colour or style I would have chosen for myself. And while I stand in the waiting room of answered promises with an undelivered docket, everyone around me is collecting theirs. It seems my number just doesn't get processed.
But that is simply not true. In the waiting room our identity is tested, hopes are refined and we look only for the one who delivers. In the waiting, we are transformed and discipled.
Today is the first day of Advent. A day which marks the beginning of hope in a promise delivered and still yet to come. All those centuries ago, courage opened the waiting room door and Mary chose with all its probable consequences, to step in. 'I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true.'
Those words are haunting.
In a world where honour, reputation and status controlled your destiny, Mary knew who she was first and foremost. 'I am the Lord's servant.' Her identity fuelled courage. Mary's primary role wasn't an instagram star with influence over millions, she never invented a world-changing app, she just had to love. Love her God with all her heart, her mind and soul. Love. Love in a way which meant loss. The loss of reputation, stigma and probably from those closest to her, the deeper wound of rejection, as she lost their trust in her character. Everything that was, was no longer. Jesus was born from a love birthed in loss.
And loss is the midwife to renewal. It is the process of letting go of the way things were and opening yourself to the possibilities of what lies ahead. For Mary, as she waited for the birth of her child, there may have been many doors closed, many solitary moments, many whispers challenging her identity. And she chose to let go and lean forward. 'May everything you have said about me come true.'
Waiting is a place of hopeful expectation. It is an invitation to listen, deepen and be transformed.
In the waiting, we find answers we didn't know we were seeking.