How long would you wait for God to answer a prayer?
The Jews waited for their Messiah for more than eight hundred years. Most of them had been waiting so long that they were confused by God’s answer when he came. Christmas came as a gift that most people didn’t even know they needed.
The old phrase, “Good things come to those who wait,” could be the theme of every Christmas season.
- Mary waited for months to meet the baby God had created within her.
- Joseph waited to know Mary as his wife until after God’s Son was born.
- The shepherds were waiting in the fields for morning to come but saw a more brilliant light than even the sun could produce.
- Anna and Simeon had been waiting their whole lives to see the Messiah God had promised them.
- The kings from the East were waiting to see the King that a star had been guiding them toward.
- Jesus had been waiting to come to earth until the time was right.
- God is waiting to send Jesus once again. This could be the last Christmas season we ever celebrate on earth.
A friend and coworker at the Denison Forum waited six hundred and twenty-three days for the Christmas gift she didn’t know she needed. Cynthia Yanof and her husband, Mike, felt the Lord was calling them to become foster parents. They went through the lengthy process of applying and then waited for their phone to ring. They didn’t have to wait very long before they realized their family was in love with the baby God had given them.
My blog is short today because I want you to read Cynthia’s story. All of us will receive gifts from God we won’t know we need unless we open our hearts and lives to receive them. What gift does God want to send you this Christmas season? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
To understand Christmas, we need to understand what James meant when he wrote that verse. Every light a first-century Christian experienced was subject to change. The sun and moon constantly moved through the sky, and the shadows changed moment to moment. Every lamp or candle flickered in the wind and was eventually consumed; the shadows changed accordingly. James said the Father of lights was unchanging and the giver of our good and perfect gifts. James could write the same words today about our unchanging God. His gifts are usually unexpected and are always perfect. The only imperfection is in our willingness to receive those gifts.
Cynthia, Mike, and their family received a perfect gift from God because they were willing to open their hearts and lives to a little baby. I hope their story inspires others this Christmas to do the same. God’s gifts are the perfect gifts most of us didn’t even know we needed.
Are you ready to receive what God is planning to give you this Christmas?