“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
This has been a year of hope deferred, hasn’t it?
We had expectations of how this year 2020—the year of vision and purpose—would pan out. I think it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that most of those plans for this last year did not happen as expected.
I wonder if that’s how the 400 years of captivity felt to the Israelites.
We’ve been through eleven grueling months, but they had to hold onto the prophecies and promises of God for hundreds of years. Palm on face here. I can’t imagine it. Can you?
But here’s the great thing.
Jesus—Emmanuel, God with Us, Prince of Peace, King of kings and Lord of lords—was scheduled by God to arrive. That plan had always been in place. God knew way ahead of time what he was doing.
And it’s no different today.
I have no doubt that God has a plan. It may not look like anything we expect. Just like the arrival of a baby in a remote town, placed in a cave manger with angels singing and shocked shepherds ogling. Not what anyone expected, right?
But it was a longing fulfilled to replace sick hearts whose hope had been deferred for centuries.
As we look forward to the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, we’re in the same place. Looking for hope. Longing for promises fulfilled.
And just as Jesus was that hope a couple thousand years ago, he is still our hope today.
There are a couple of differences.
We haven’t waited for hundreds of years—even if this year of 2020 feels like it’s stretched on for decades or centuries. And also, they didn’t know when to expect Jesus, but we have already seen him. We have the opportunity to not only welcome him into the world as a baby, but welcome him into our hearts and lives as our Savior, Lord, and King.
No matter what the virus or election or protests bring, Jesus is our hope.
And he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)