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How do your children feel about today being Christmas Eve? Are they eager for tomorrow morning to come? Are they waiting patiently or eagerly or in a bouncing-off-the-wall kind of way?

Waiting can be a challenge for all of us.

Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 

I wonder if Mary quoted those words to herself as she waited for Jesus to be born. Surely the trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem gave her time to think back over the last nine months of waiting. The modern route on the Yitzhak Rabin Highway (Route 6) is 97.6 miles. The alternate course on Route 90, which passes  through Jericho and follows the Jordan River for part of the way, is 109 miles. Even a trip by car, which takes two hours on the faster route and three hours on the slower one, would allow plenty of time to think back. Walking or riding on a donkey must have given plenty of time to remember:

  • Gabriel’s surprise announcement,
  • Traveling from Nazareth to the hill country to visit Elizabeth,
  • Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit and John the Baptist jumping for joy in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary arrived,
  • The pleasant three-month visit with Elizabeth,
  • Joseph learning that Mary was expecting, and
  • The news that she and Joseph would have to travel to Bethlehem to take part in a census just at the time the Baby was due!

As Mary traveled, she waited. Since this was her first baby, she may have had no idea that her wait would be over so soon.

Yes, waiting can be hard, sometimes very hard, but it can also be a beautiful act of faith. God cares how we wait. He tells us:

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him . . .
Psalm 37:7

God’s Word tells us that waiting is worth it.

Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed . . .
Psalm 25:3

God’s Word tells us Who to wait for:

My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
Psalm 62:5

What are you waiting for this Christmas? For Jackson to read? For Miriam to improve her grammar? For Liam to come to Jesus? Or Sophie to come to her senses?

As you think about Mary waiting for God’s Son to be born, think about the One in Whom she trusted. Remember too that Mary only had to wait nine months. Elizabeth had waited for years and years to have her first baby (Luke 1:5-7). God knew exactly what He was doing in the lives of both of them.

The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
Psalm 147:11

If you missed our video Christmas greeting on Friday, click on this envelope to see it now.

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