Originally published Thursday, 16 August 2018.
When I think of celebration, I can’t help thinking of the wait that’s so often attached.
I think of the unfulfilled callings held quietly inside for years – either left on a back burner or pursued unsuccessfully over and over again; until suddenly God brings all the right pieces together in a whirlwind of motion.
I think of the woman who bore a disfiguring tumor for decades before God provided an opportunity for surgery as the answer to her prayers. Or the joyful praise of a man who had just regained his sight after being blind for half his life. And the teenager who spent several years in a wheelchair, unsure if she’d ever walk again – until she did.
The depth of celebration witnessed in long-awaited moments feels like a glimpse of heaven.
We see it in the Bible as well.
It’s the story of Abraham and Sarah – when God promised them a son, they were full of doubt and went looking for their own shortcuts; God fulfilled his promise through the birth of Isaac.
It’s the Israelites, who lived in slavery for 400 years before God parted the Red Sea and rescued them from Egypt. If that hadn’t felt long enough already, they went straight into wandering the desert for 40 years before entering the Promised Land.
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people lived in a state of waiting, hoping for the day when the promised Messiah would come.
It’s the story of Jesus himself when he entered the tomb and the world held its breath for 3 days.
Today it’s our story as we wait to see God’s faithfulness in the little details of everyday life, and as we wait for the ultimate celebration. Hearts longing for a place better than this one; longing for the day when Jesus will be nearer than ever before. When all darkness and pain will be swept away.
When doubt and discouragement come, may we look to stories from the past to remind us of God’s constant faithfulness. The wait may be long, but celebration is coming.
“Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate.” (Psalm 111:2-4)
Rachel Olson recently moved back to the US after making Africa home for 2 years. She hopes to live there again someday soon, where she enjoyed sharing life with hospital patients, learning (and eating!) new things and seeing God offer hope in life’s hard places. Here in the US, she loves a good street taco, card game or deep conversation with friends and family. She longs to see Jesus at work in all of life’s changes, joys, and struggles, and writing helps her make a little more sense of it all. You can find more from Rachel on her blog and Instagram.
Photos from Pixabay.