[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Janelle Ross is a mom, mostly, which is great fun, frequently hilarious, and occasionally heart-wrenching. She writes about mom stuff and Jesus stuff on HER BLOG.]
I dropped into the middle of Advent from travels in a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. I landed at the Toronto airport after a fourteen-hour flight, bleary-eyed and definitely not bushy-tailed, and after clearing customs I did what any good Canadian would do. I sat down and enjoyed a Timmie’s coffee in a red holiday cup, thank you very much. And the season began.
It’s been a strange week, since. I’ve tried to feel the feels. I’ve tried to connect with Mary, the way I’ve been able to in Advent seasons past. I’ve tried to remember my own pregnancies, and to conjure that sense of wonder and anticipation. I’ve attempted to settle into the hush, the pause, the pregnant preparation.
Between you and me, it’s not happening. Waiting, this year, has not been sweet or simple or celebratory. I’ve been jetlagged and bronchitis-y and struggling with those post-adventure, now-what-am-I-going-to-do blues.
Waiting is often hard, you guys. I’ve waited for babies I was told I might not ever conceive. I’ve waited in stormy darkness for children to arrive home. I’ve waited for bad news to be confirmed and I’ve waited for promises to be kept and it’s not all fun and games and happy endings.
Bah, Humbug? Sorry.
Now, maybe Noah would seem an unlikely guy to restore my hope this Christmas season, but scripture does it’s thing in strange and mysterious ways, and Genesis 8:1 has been my Advent verse.
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
God remembered Noah, after ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DAYS of being packed into a floating zoo.
If I’d been Noah, it wouldn’t have taken long for me to tire of the waiting. Maybe that’s my problem this year. I’m simply tired. I’m tired of reading stories of displaced people waiting for homes. I’m tired of hearing of yet another shooting in yet another school or mall or church. I’m tired of seeing pictures of missing people and I’m tired of poverty and I’m tired of myself and my silly concerns.
Maybe you are in the midst of a difficult season of waiting. Maybe you are feeling tired, this year. Maybe waiting is taking it’s toll rather than filling you with hope. Maybe life feels like Day149 on the stinkiest cruise ship ever and maybe it seems like you’ve been forgotten. But, praise God, He loves us even beyond our ability to make our traditions meaningful.
If your Advent has been less than joyful, consider Genesis 8:1 with me, and know that He remembers, even as the rains fall and the floods rise. He remembers. And so, once upon a time, Hope was born in a stable in Bethlehem, into a confused and waiting world.