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Advent: Expectations

Advent snuck up on me this year.  Ironic?  Maybe...  But my hope is that by writing another Advent series this year, Christmas won’t catch me by the same surprise.

Last year, the anticipation of my own Christmas child walked alongside preparations for the celebration of the Christ child’s birth.  When I reflect on that journey this year, I wonder: How can you prepare for or even anticipate something that is unknown… when you actually have no idea what to expect?  I was waiting for a baby last year, but I actually didn’t have a single clue what I was getting into.   

My response is to create my own expectations despite my cloudy understanding.  And I think I do the same with Jesus.  When we anticipate His arrival, how do we wait in expectation without forming our own limited expectations?

This year I find my self in a place of waiting for the unknown.  I sense that something new is around the corner… like aching knees before a rainstorm… but I don’t know exactly what it is.  So we’ve been praying a lot and asking God to show up… to guide… to direct.  But, of course, I have all these preconceptions and directions for God in that process.

So as I reflect on awaiting the Christ child, I wonder how much of self I still must purge from my expecting.  How do I come before God and say: I’m expecting you to BE… in your own time… in your own way… on your own terms…? 

The reality is that if my expectations aren’t met, I am often disappointed.  But the very nature of expecting God includes an element of expecting the unknown, which means I must approach the Christmas season with humility and reverence. 

This first week of Advent as I dwell in expectation, I am simultaneously asking God to remove my expectations.  Expectation should be a posture… not a checklist. 

God, grant me the mercy and grace to wait on YOU this Christmas.    

What expectations do you place on God?  How do you respond when they are not met?  How are you waiting in a posture of expectation this Christmas?

Continue in this year's advent series here.  

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