Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent Longing {What I'm Holding}

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons,the redemption of our body (Romans 8:18-23, NASB).

On a friend's blog this week, I commented that  in Advent the yearning for happy endings comes so strong that it feels like grief. Perhaps my ongoing infirmities are affecting my emotions, but I feel that especially this year, and it's leaving me a tough melancholy, wistful. Is anyone else sensing that in their Christmas preparations?

Charles Wesley captures this in his Advent hymn, "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus":

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

This Friday has me holding longings, both sublime and ridiculous:
longing for freedom;
longing for release from fears and sins;
longing for rest, Strength, Consolation,
longing for Hope;
longing for the Desire of every nation, the Prince of Peace;
longing for Joy;
longing for His Kingdom;

but also longing for a decent hair day (thicker hair period, while we're on the subject);
longing to look nice for my husband's work Christmas party tonight;
longing for time and a comfortable position to read the books sitting neglected;
longing for sweet coffee with cream and something chocolate on the saucer;
longing for brilliant ideas for the 3 gifts left to procure;
longing for my ankle to heal;
longing for the ache in my ribs to let up;
longing for subtraction rather than addition of medical concerns;

longing to see and hug my Nonni, sister, and little nephews;
longing for shalom, peace, wholeness, in body, soul, spirit, and relationships;
and through it all, longing for Jesus, the answer to all our longings.

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