Christmas Eve is here! I can remember as a little girl this seemed to be the longest day of the whole year and I am certain the night was ten times longer than other nights! What anticipation this day brings to so many. The anticipation of preparation (grocery shopping for some of us!!!) for meals, anticipation of company arriving, anticipation of travel, anticipation of "will they like what I got them?", anticipation of one certain visitor for all the children. A day filled with anticipation. Many times we know that with great anticipation can be great disappointment.
I collect nativities. My husband bought me my first one our first married Christmas together and he has gotten me one every year since. Many others have bought some for me and my house is filled with them. From very elaborate ones to simple ones from the dollar store. I treasure them all. This morning while the others were still sleeping I got up and had my quiet time in my living room where I always do. As I looked around at the lights and the host of nativity arrangements in the room I noticed something I have never paid attention to - Mary. I mean I know she is there but this morning I thought - (I know this is not very spiritual) "She doesn't even look like she just had a baby, much less that she had a baby in a barn without the comfort of a hospital bed and nurses to attend her and most of all - an epidural!" So I got out my Bible and turned to read the account of Mary receiving the news that she would be the one to carry the Savior of the world. I don't read that account often. Normally we go right to Luke 2, but this morning I backed up some.
I read the account of Elizabeth and Zechariah and how when the angel told Zechariah that he would have a child he responded with "How can I be sure of this?" Well he had plenty of time to think about that question seeing as how Gabriel shut him right up for several months. Then I noticed that when Gabriel visited Mary and told her that she would have a child she responded with " How will this be since I am a virgin?" I realized the difference between "can" and "will". Mary didn't doubt she just wanted to hear how the impossible would come to be. Then after hearing the impossible she responded with "I am the Lord's servant may it be as you have said." But here is my favorite part of this particular story - she goes to visit her cousin who immediately upon hearing her voice feels her baby leap and Elizabeth says
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished."
Talk about some anticipation!!!!!! Our family sat around last night sharing stories of how the Lord has been working in each of our lives in the last few weeks and then that turned into how faithful He has been with each of us over the course of our lives. We marveled at how mightily God reveals Himself to us when we believe Him and what he tells us. How different our lives would be if we did that daily! So my anticipation today is not so much about food, gifts, travel or shopping, but that my life will magnify Him. That each day I will get out of bed and remind myself "I am the Lords servant" That I will believe what the Lord has said will be accomplished and be blessed.
May the Lord bless you and your families this season with an anticipation of Him and what is to come! Believe, Believe, Believe! He is so worth it and the anticipation of Him will never bring disappointment.
Merry Christmas Eve.