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Advent Week 1: The Wait - How Anticipation Can Draw Your Heart Closer to Jesus

Anticipation is a powerful tool that God wants to use to bring our hearts closer to Him this Advent season.

As a Christian mom, you've likely experienced the joy and challenge of waiting, especially when your children eagerly anticipate something they've been promised. The constant questioning and restlessness can be exhausting.

But have you ever stopped to consider how your own relationship with God is affected by waiting?

This Advent season, let's explore how the art of anticipation can draw your heart closer to Jesus. Just as the Jews waited for the Messiah, and just as you wait for your children's excitement to come to fruition, you, too, are waiting for God's promises to be fulfilled.
Have you ever promised your child something?
You know how it feels to get them coming to you every second, reminding you of the promise you made to them?
I am sure you can relate, as every other parent can.
Or maybe it is a long road trip that takes maybe only a few hours, but may feel like a whole day the way the children keep asking, “are we there yet?
They can almost wear you out with their incessant checks - “are we there yet?

We All Struggle with Waiting:

I am not sure I am that much different from my children when I need to wait for anything. In fact, I just may be more terrible at waiting than they are! I absolutely hate waiting for things. My personality does not even help matters, as I just want everything done now and immediately. Later is a word I don't like to hear, and wait is one I equally dread hearing.

This was the exact situation the Jews found themselves in.
They had been waiting for many years. Even the prophet Isaiah prophesied about it in Isaiah 7:14
"All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[a] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)."
Many years had passed since these promises, and they were probably tired of waiting.

Are you also at that point in your life too? Where you are tired of waiting, waiting for a promise God made to you?
As the year draws to a close, you are losing hope that maybe this year is no longer your year. Of course, I also have those kinds of expectations where I have been waiting on God for some things He promised me too. I choose to believe that God loves me too much to make me wait for nothing. God is not slow in keeping His promise, and over the years, I have learned so much in my waiting.
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 
- 2 Peter 3:9

Three Lessons on Anticipation

1. Anticipation Keeps Me Alert:
Anticipation keeps me alert and expectant. Just like when you order takeout and eagerly await the delivery driver, when I need to wait on God for something, I am alert and expectant.
In Luke 2:25-38, we see the story of two lovely characters in the Bible - Anna and Simeon.
They lived in active anticipation of the birth of Jesus, waiting eagerly. Their anticipation kept their hearts and souls stirred up (James 5:7-8).
"Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near."
2. Anticipation Keeps My Heart Stayed on Jesus:
In my waiting season, anticipation keeps me close so I can hear what God has to say about the fulfillment of His promise to me. As we get our hearts ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us learn from those who have gone ahead of us in the Bible.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
3. Anticipation Helps Me Build Resilience:
Anticipation helps me build resilience, patience, and endurance.

“But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently."

When we wait for what we don't see, we are able to wait for it with patience. The more I learn to wait well, the better for me. I need to learn to wait with joy. Maybe you are like me with some rough edges around your heart; anticipation may be God's tool for smoothing out some rough edges in your life.
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way..." - James 1:2-8
Let anticipation be a tool that God can use to shape your heart in this season. As we enter this Advent season, let's reflect on the anticipation of those who waited for the Messiah, and may your anticipation draw your heart even closer to Jesus. End it with a prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of anticipation and the waiting season. Help us, as Christian moms, to embrace the lessons of anticipation, to keep our hearts and souls stirred up, to keep our focus on Jesus, and to build resilience, patience, and endurance. As we wait for the fulfillment of your promises, may our hearts draw closer to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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