“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, And in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord More than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD : For with the LORD there is mercy, And with him is plenteous redemption.”Psalm 130: 5-8
I used to always look forward to the Christmas season as a kid, and I could not seem to wait for Christmas to come soon enough. We celebrated at my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve and counted down the time until the clock read 12:00am. We shared many moments prior to midnight that I did not appreciate at the time, but I now look back with fondness at the memories that were made during those times. We shared a delicious meal of tamales, rice and beans, and some years, movies were played that were not quite appropriate for all the ages represented in the room. The room seemed a little larger to me as a little kid, and it does not seem as big now.
The tree was placed in the corner of the room and presents were piled throughout the circumference of the tree, stacked 3-4 feet high. My aunt would be sequestered in my grandma’s room frantically wrapping last-minute presents, and our hopes and dreams were tied to what was wrapped underneath the tree. My parents did not allow me to share my wish list with my grandparents, but I always seemed to drop a hint or two when the time was right. We sometimes received what we had asked for, but we always got plenty and were excited and impressed with what we got. I do not remember a Christmas when I was disappointed. My grandparents and aunts were quite generous with presents and they loved to see our reactions when we opened their gifts. Although this was a special time, I could not wait to get home after this time and open my presents that awaited me from my parents.
We would come home and open our gifts at the house, and it was like Christmas all over again. As a kid, I could not seem to wait for this day and it seemed like it would never come. No matter how far away the day seemed, come it did, and it was better than I could have imagined. Needless to say, the wait was worth it, and now as I look back, I miss some of the people I spent Christmas with rather than the abundance of gifts I received at the time. I now try to pause the days prior to Christmas to create more time, but the calendar quickly fills up with parties, plays, and Christmas celebrations. I have to make sure I did not forget anyone on my list, and I have to be sure to hide and wrap the gifts I got for others. I now know the day will come sooner than I expect, and I look forward to seeing the reaction on others’ faces as they open the gifts I give them. I no longer worry about the time to come, and I now cherish the people I spend the time with rather than the gifts I receive.
My childish happiness was wrapped up in what I would get, but I have learned that my hope and confidence is in the LORD. Gifts will come and go but my God is ever with me, and He will be with me for all eternity. I no longer hope in the latest toy or hottest electronic item on the market, but I am thankful for the hope that we celebrate in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gift I hope for is in Him, and it is a gift I can never lose or break. The gift of eternal life cannot be matched by any earthly possession, and I know one day He will come back for me just as He promised. The Christmas season should not be one of greed, anger, or wanting to get the best deal on your favorite items. Instead, it should be one of hope, peace, and love, the love of a Father who sent His only Son to give us a hope of all hopes.
Romans15:13 states, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” May the God of hope fill us this holiday season with joy, peace and love, and may we rest in the hope He gives no matter how hectic things become. Will you wait for Him and His peace? Will you rest in the hope we have in Him? Will you praise Him for the free eternal gift He has given you? May we wait on Him like a kid waits for Christmas, and may we ever praise Him for the eternal hope He has given us.