To See the Messiah

Wan sunlight peered through the high window, lighting up the small cold room.

The old man was already praying.

For most of his adult life, this was Simeon’s routine. He awoke and prayed, washed his hands and face, ate a meager meal of dates and bread, and headed to the temple, his thoughts on his greatest desire. To see the Messiah.

He knew he would see the Messiah before he died, God had promised him that. But here he was, surely nearing the end of his life, his knees creaking as he shuffled along the familiar route to the temple. No Messiah yet.

Would he be a mysterious warrior, coming along to right the wrongs of the Jewish people? A king that would arise, capturing the hearts and allegiance of a country? Simeon turned left down the next street, the temple filling his view as visions and dreams of the coming savior filled his heart.

“Today,” whispered something in his heart. Simeon’s steps slowed. He craned his neck, as if hoping he’d see where the whisper came from.

“Today,” his heart resonated again.

His pulse quickening, he entered the courtyard, washed again, and instead of starting prayers as usual, he was distracted, examining those milling about the courtyard. Did he hear God right?

A young couple, or rather, the woman was young, entered with a swaddled bundle, presumably here for a circumcision. The eyes of the new parents roamed around, the woman moving slowly, the man gently guiding her.

“Him,” the whisper said.

“A baby?” Simeon let the question fill his heart. A baby? How could this be? A messiah? But as the couple came nearer, the questions fled, and hope took up residence.

The young woman placed her infant in Simeon’s arms and Simeon knew without a doubt, the king was here. How long he had waited! How many times he had almost given up hope! Yet here hope was, bundled up and only a few days old.

Simeon, and the rest of the world, would never be the same.

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. Luke 2:30-32

Hope Loading

I looked down at the scripture I had underlined, memorized, and meditated on for the dozen-enth time. Like a sneak attack, the following thoughts popped into my head. Ugh…am I silly for coming back to this verse? Does it even matter? Am I just propping myself up with false hope?

Like return fire, or the activating of a force field, the Lord brought to mind a verse. Hope does not disappoint.Hope

My heart filled with tenderness as these words blazed across my soul’s sky, and I immediately turned to Romans 5. Hope does not disappoint.It does not put us to shame.

…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

This verse comes at the end of a passage where Paul reveals that suffering produces endurance, endurance- character, and character- hope.

The Cost

What a beautiful promise. As children of God who are walking in step with him, we will not be put to shame because of the promises we stand on. But take a look at the words that start off that passage: suffering and endurance. Hope is birthed through trying circumstances, tested in the fires of unrealized dreams, damaged relationships, daunting health challenges, and any number of other trials.

We hope and endure, endure and hope, and through that process, our lives can sometimes feel like this:


We are all familiar with this sight, aren’t we? Buffering. Loading. Refreshing. WAITING. Has your life ever felt like this?

Promise Buffering

We all go through seasons of when our promises are still buffering, not loading. The key that I have to keep reminding myself of, and what should encourage you is that t is just a season. It won’t last forever. Even if it feels like nothing is happening to, for or through you, push past those feelings and grab onto the truth. God is working behind the scenes and deep in the soil of our hearts to bring about what He wants to bring about. Keep watering, keep tending to those promises, even if you only see the same old dirt every week.

I remain confident of this:I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lordbe strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

Whatever promises are circled in your Bible, don’t be ashamed as you revisit and remind yourself of them. Don’t give up as you pour out faith and hope on the (seemingly) barren soil of your life. God’s words do not return void, but always accomplish his purposes. They build our faith. They anchor our souls, and fill us with hope; hope that is available in abundance for all who seek it.

Here We Wait

We all have our old favorites when it comes to Christmas music. You know, the ones you have seven different versions of. For me, those would be O Holy Night and O Come Emmanuel.

But each year, a new song manages to capture my heart at the manger, and leads me to worship in front of the throne.

This year, it’s Christy Nockles, “Advent Hymn.” If you haven’t listened to it yet, take some time to listen to it below.

Here I wait in hope of you…

When I first heard this song, I thought of Anna and Simeon, who greeted Jesus as a baby the day he was dedicated at the temple. God had promised them they would see the savior before they died, but years had gone by with no sign of the promised one. The same prayers were prayed day after day, year after year, observing Advent without even knowing it had a name!

Until one day, a young couple with their tiny infant visited the temple. Hope finally had a face, and he had entered their lives. They would never be the same.

Whenever I hear those lyrics, I hear the cries of generations past, people of long ago who hoped and longed for the Lord. I also feel my own spirit crying out for the Lord, for him to come, for him to move in my life, to answer prayers, to be glorified above all.

When, Lord, When?

Can you imagine what it was like for Anna and Simeon? They were well into their sunset years, and I’m sure there were days they had almost given up hope. Israel seemed to grow weaker under the oppressive Roman rule, and still no leader had been raised up. When, Lord?

I don’t know what you are longing for in your lives. I don’t know what prayers you have prayed day after day, year after year. I don’t know what God has promised you. But can I encourage you to keep hoping? To keep waiting?

Our God is a faithful God, and when it looks like we’ve been hung out to dry, he is meticulously working behind the scenes, not maliciously holding out on us. I firmly believe that.

This Christmas season, hang on, hold on, and keep praying.

Thoughts on Mother’s Day

This post is for you if Mothers’ Day is…well…not what it should be. Not what it could be. Not what it was before.

Maybe you don’t have a Mom to celebrate with here on Earth. To you, I say you are loved. And I am sorry. It’s OK to not be OK. Each year will feel different as you grow and heal. But your family is by your side, growing and healing with you. You are not alone.

Maybe you would like to be a Mom, but for whatever reason, life has not begun inside you. To you, I say you are loved and I pray that God surrounds you with an extra measure of grace this weekend. Do not lose heart, dear one. Do not lose heart.

Maybe you are a Mom, a mom to angel babies that you never held in your arms, but will forever hold in your heart. To you, I say you are loved and are still a mom, even though you may not be changing diapers or struggling to load your brood into the car. Your babies experienced so much love in the short time they were here on earth.

Maybe you are a Mom in the waiting to a precious treasure. A little one is coming to you, a little one that someone else brought into the world, but can’t walk with anymore. To you I say you are loved, and I pray endurance for you for the road ahead and that your home will be blessed with love and laughter in the years to come.

Maybe you are a Mom and have a Mom, but there are hurts. Hurts that sometimes feel too deep to overcome. To you,  I say you are loved, and I pray time and mercy would do their work in your life.

To all Moms, you are loved. You are appreciated. You are treasured and valued. We are what we are today because of you. In whatever way you need, I pray your day is beautiful.

Beautiful like you.