December 1: I Can’t Wait!

This post is part of a series of Christmas Devotionals by Dr. John Neihof, president of Wesley Biblical Seminary. You can find all of the devotionals by clicking here.

Scripture Passages: Genesis 3:15, 49:10, Numbers 24:17, Isaiah 9:2-7, Micah 5:2, Revelation 13:8

I remember the longing and anticipation I felt as a child waiting for Christmas morning so. I studied the old Sears and Roebuck Wish Book, dreaming of Christmas. I remember saying, “I can’t wait till…”

But alas, we had to wait. I remember waiting until that Christmas morning. I had asked for a BB gun. I had it all picked out in the Wish Book. It was lever action, modeled after the 30-30 lever action rifle. It looked like the guns on the cowboy movies. It looked like the gun that won the West. I remember that Christmas morning when I saw the long narrow package under the tree. My brother, James, and I both had one. We had to wait until Dad read the Christmas story. “I can’t wait…” We had to wait until Dad prayed the Christmas prayer.

“I can’t wait…”

As soon as Dad said “Amen,” it was like the starter’s pistol at the track meet had fired. We were off! We tore at the paper! I remember getting through the paper to the box. It was my BB gun! I tugged at the huge staples at the end of the box. Dad pulled out his pocket knife to work at them. They finally came loose and I slid my new BB gun out of the box. There it was, my new BB gun! I had said, “I can’t wait!” But I had waited, and it was worth it.

Perhaps my waiting for Christmas gives me an insight into the longing of the ages–the wait for God’s promise. The wait had started in the Garden of Eden. The wait for the promised offspring of woman that would set people free from the bondage of sin.

Isaiah describes humanity waiting in the dark, until that darkness was penetrated by God’s promise of the Prince of Peace, the Messiah.

“Help me to wait in anticipation for You to shatter darkness. Help me to see You as my hope and deliverance in the face of drudgery, death and oppression. You are Immanuel, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Righteous King, the Divine Servant, the Anointed Preacher, and the Mighty Savior. You are worth the wait!”

As I wait for Christmas, I wait for Jesus to come to my heart in a fresh and new way. I wait for Him to fill me afresh with the wonder of His first coming. As I ponder a loving couple, a virgin mother, a long trip, government taxation, angelic hosts, shepherds, and a packed village, I ask Jesus to help me to make room for Him. I post the illuminated VACANCY sign on my heart. I wait with anticipation of Jesus’ fresh arrival to my heart.

“O come to my heart, Lord Jesus. There is room in my heart for thee.”

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