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For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7, English Standard Version)
And the Word became flesh.
(John 1:14, ESV)
“When will they get here?” said an eager-eyed 8-year-old. “I can’t stand it any longer.”
If you’ve ever waited for out-of-town grandparents to arrive, you understand the urgency of this situation. Seconds feel like minutes, minutes like hours, and so on. Grandparents often arrive bearing gifts and affection, and sometimes they even harbor a secret stash of candy. Children around the globe agree: they’re worth the wait.
The experience of God’s people has always been one of waiting and expectation.
From the very beginning, when Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world and God promised to send a rescuer to save people from the ravaging effects of that sin, the redemption countdown began.
By the time the prophet Isaiah wrote the words in the verses above, God’s people had grown accustomed to waiting. Ever since God had clearly designated Abraham’s family as the line through which He would send a Redeemer, His people had watched for this Messiah, always hoping that His arrival would be right around the corner.
Over centuries, the promise passed through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David. In dark days, when prophets called God’s people to return to Him and hold on to hope, a flicker of light signaled that the Messiah was not far off. But then, suddenly, after Malachi, God became quiet. Had He given up on these defiant, wayward people? Had they strayed beyond God’s reach?
Today, we have the benefit of hindsight. We know that after 400 years, God broke this silence first by sending John the Baptist to prepare the way. Then He split the silence wide open with another baby — a baby who wouldn’t just patch up a broken world but would restore it completely.
We know about Jesus, the Messiah, and about how the story ends. But knowing about the story isn’t enough. We want to know the Author of the story — to build our lives upon a foundation that cannot be shaken.
During this Advent season, you are likely waiting for something: an “all-clear” test result from a doctor, a phone call from an estranged loved one, or an answer to your prayers. As with God’s people through the ages, your human experience is also defined by weary waiting.
Isaiah’s words were spoken to desperately longing people on the brink of losing hope. They offer you an equal hope in One who not only has already come and gone but who will come again:
Prince of Peace
Now, that’s a description of someone truly worth waiting for.
What are you waiting for? Read more about how to trust God as you wait.
Melissa Long serves as the Writers Team Leader for Cru® U.S. Digital Strategies. Originally from Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Melissa currently resides on the edge of a mysterious swamp in Florida with her husband, Philip, and two lively teenagers who remind her daily that we’re all on a journey.
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