Hope is a feeling of expectation or desire for something to happen. I remember when I was a little girl, maybe 7 years old, I really wanted a cabbage patch doll for Christmas. I had built up this expectation in my head that she would look just like all the commercials on TV, blond (really yellow) hair with chubby plastic rosy cheeks. I have never been the best when it comes to being patient, but I remember waiting for Christmas to arrive that year, and feeling like it would never come. As difficult as it was, I waited, and my expectations and hope for this doll continued to grow. 

As we enter the Advent season, we know the Israelites had been expecting a great savior, a king, someone who would save them. In the beginning of Matthew’s gospel, he writes “fourteen generations from Abraham to David, another fourteen from David to the Babylonial exile, and yet another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Christ.” Many generations had passed between the time of God’s promise and Christ’s birth. Unlike my waiting as a child, the Israelites waited generations in anticipation of the One whom God promised, and it probably did feel like the promise would never come.

Sometimes what we hope for, may not be fulfilled in the time we want or expect, generations had passed until God’s promise in Jesus was fulfilled. When our hope does not match up with the time in which we expect something to happen, how do we hold on to that hope without losing sight of the joy that hope brings? How do we trust God’s promise to be fulfilled when God’s timing is different than our own?

What are you hoping for this season? Take a moment to meditate on this question, observe what it feels like in your body to hope, notice what emotions may come up. Be present with yourself and your emotions, and take time today to attend to your needs. 

Creator God, be with us today as we sit with our hopes and dreams of what has yet to come. Help us to be mindful of the things that truly matter, and to recognize that even while we wait and hope, there is much joy to be found in this present moment. Amen.