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Great Expectation

The “Night Before Christmas” is officially here.  And, for my four-year-old, tomorrow morning will finally be different from the last twenty mornings or so.  Every day for the last several weeks, she has bounded down the stairs and made a beeline for the stocking hung from our mantle.  Every morning, she exclaims, “It’s empty!”

We’ve been amused, and somewhat heart-touched, at her daily expectation and every morning greet her with “It’s not Christmas yet!”


The “Night Before Christmas” is officially here.  And, for my four-year-old, tomorrow morning will finally be different from the last twenty mornings or so.  Every day for the last several weeks, she has bounded down the stairs and made a beeline for the stocking hung from our mantle.  Every morning, she exclaims, “It’s empty!”

We’ve been amused, and somewhat heart-touched, at her daily expectation and every morning greet her with “It’s not Christmas yet!”

The Christmas season brings all manner of emotion, and as my children grow with awareness, the various traditions and celebrations have taken on a new meaning for me.  This year, as my little one eagerly anticipates Christmas Day, we’ve also been reading through the biblical accounts of Christ’s death, resurrection, departure to heaven, and His return.

A lot of anticipation builds with this season, for those who believe and even those who don’t.  A lot of us also live with discouragement and disillusionment, whether it’s Christmas or any day.

Sometimes life hurts.  Sometimes, there really is an empty stocking.  Sooner or later, reality doesn’t live up to our expectations.  Our heart’s desire—strong relationships, the presence of loved ones, security, stability, whatever—goes unfulfilled.  In fact, when we set our hearts on anything other than the Messiah Himself, we’re bound to be disappointed.

Even when we do have our eyes focused on Christ, sometimes we aren’t able to see Him as He really is.  Think of those who surrounded Jesus in His life on Earth.  Mary did a lot of pondering and treasuring in her heart, life rocking along until she eventually met with mysterious reminders that the son of her womb was uniquely different.  

Christ’s close friends and followers expected a rescue— deliverance from the distressing circumstances of life.  And even though Jesus Himself prayed for them in the midst of their hard times (John 17:15-19) and promised that life would continue to bring struggles (John 16:33), they continued to believe their own expectations —until reality revealed otherwise.  

I’d have done the same.  In fact, I do. I find myself daily reconciling my expectations with experience.  I’ve also encountered fresh awareness that my own desires will one day be fulfilled, and disappointment will be a distant memory.  I can’t bank on a particular date, but I can look forward to the day when Christ returns, just like He left (Acts 1:11).  He will come with the clouds, and every eye will see Him (Rev 1:7).

This is no myth about a guy in a red suit arriving at night and leaving gifts in his wake.  This is truth—He’ll have “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” inscribed on his body (Rev 19:16).  He will be called Faithful and True (Rev 19:11).

Yes, tomorrow morning we will celebrate the incredible mystery that God took on human flesh, humbled Himself to infant status, and walked among us.  Whatever else you experience, remember the story continues, and one day soon, He will come again.  For me, it’s a little like my daughter’s anticipation of Christmas.  Pure joy.  Beyond my wildest expectation.

Kelly Arabie most enjoys heart-level conversation and guiding women in soul care. Her desire to study God’s Word and help women apply it to their lives led her and husband Tre to Dallas from their home in Louisiana. She earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and served on staff as both Women’s Ministry Director for Coppell Bible Fellowship and Women’s Ministry Counselor at Insight for Living. Kelly’s experiences of shepherding by godly women have given her a deep desire to see women cared for in the Body of Christ worldwide, especially in cross-generation relationships.

8 Comments

  • Jessica Witty

    “I find myself daily
    “I find myself daily reconciling my expectations with experience.” So, so true and the perfect article for me to read today. Beautiful post, Kelly!

  • Melissa Osigian

    CHRISTmas
    May I see CHRIST for who He really is! This is a beautiful reminder that He keeps His promises and will return one day. Merry CHRISTmas, Kelly!

  • Anna Bilton

    I LOVE this Christmas Eve
    I LOVE this Christmas Eve blog that you wrote! Thanks for reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas. I really lik this blog and I can’t wait to read your next one! Merry Christmas, Mrs. Arabie!

  • Gaye Austin

    Thanks
    Thanks Kelly for such a powerful reminder of what we are to be looking forward to ! Amen to all of these thoughts. I am so grateful to the Lord for bringing you on to the Tapestry team. Welcome and may God direct you in the days ahead to ponder more for us to enjoy.

    GA.