Prepare. That is the message of the prophecies. Be ready. Be on the lookout. Wait with purpose. Have you ever been so excited about an upcoming event that you couldn’t bear the waiting? Perhaps a wedding or a big move. Perhaps a baby to be born. Maybe a party of some kind or a surprise to hold onto. The excitement which wells up during the waiting is palpable. It flows throughout your body and gives a lift to your days. The anticipation builds over time, making it even harder to wait.

There is a culmination of all this eager hope that is met when the event finally takes place. A release of good will. Joy finally vented. It is euphoric. And the day comes to pass. Like a kid at Christmas, the waiting is over and the excitement is expressed. Peace and calm settle in as the anticipation is completed.

Now, what happens when the waiting is delayed? The party is postponed. (Ask the covid wedding planners!) The surprise has to be held longer. The move delayed. The excitement that was building is dashed. The hope crushed. Frustration is the result. Disappointment. Over time, the original event is neglected due to lack of forward movement. Putting it on the back burner removes it from the forefront and causes it to be forgotten or disregarded. Hope deferred makes the soul sick and the mind looks elsewhere for its purpose.

The people were waiting for a Messiah, but he never came. The people were heart sick and had forgotten he was even coming. Why did so many miss him? Because they stopped looking for him years ago. The waiting was too long, too much, too hard. These words went unfulfilled: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government will be upon his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.’ Isaiah 9:6

When he did come, he didn’t look like what they thought. The excitement had waned. The promises were forgotten. The celebration had been postponed indefinitely.  People went about their lives as if there was no Messiah to come. Yet, he did come. The promises were fulfilled. Those who saw him were filled with joy after so much disappointment. They overflowed with excitement. The solid peace of knowing, settled on their hearts.

Now, we wait once again for his coming. The pain of the world has overshadowed the preparation of our hearts. We have forgotten the anticipation and the hope we have. The kingdom we seek is not of this world. It looks nothing like we expect it to. While we wait, his admonition is to look up. Prepare our hearts and remember…For unto us a Son is born.

Preparation does not have to be hard. It is as simple as sitting with me and listening to my heart for you. When you hear what I have to say about you, nothing the world says matters as much. When you prepare your heart in this way, you will always recognize my voice. Peace will cover you. Even when the waiting seems too long away. Remember, my time is eternal, not finite. Long has a different definition for me than it does for you. When you sit with me and let me prepare your heart, your view of time changes. The urgency falls away, peace rules, and you can sit with the promise, knowing that whenever it comes the timing will be perfect.

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