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Not too long ago Lyndsay and I took the kids to our favorite pizza joint. We settled into our table and waited. And waited. And waited.

Stomachs growled. Tempers flared. Patience waned. Eyes glazed over.

We were “hangry”.

It’s a state of anger caused by lack of food; hunger causing a negative change in emotional state.

When will the food get here?” my son asked hangerily.

It will get here when it gets here,” I snapped back sarcastically.

Finally, the moment we had been waiting for. The fresh, hot, perfectly baked pizza arrived. And we tore into it like a child opening a present on Christmas morning. Onlookers likely wondered how long we had starved our kids.

What if I told you that God was in the kitchen preparing something for us that can’t be found on any menu in this world? Something worth waiting for?

This season of Advent is a time of anticipation. It is a time where we sit on the edge of our seats with our heads on a swivel, anxiously looking about for the arrival of something much deeper and much tastier and more fulfilling than this world can offer.

During these weeks leading up to Christmas, we become even more aware of the fallen world we live in. One full of death and darkness. One dripping with heartache and tragedy and evil. One broken and sinful and confused.

Whether we realize it or not, our stomachs growl and groan for meaning and wholeness and fullness and happiness.

Our world needs a Savior. I need a Savior. You need a Savior.

As Paul says, “We groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for Jesus” (Romans 8:23).

Simply put: We need hope. And not the kind of hope that is dependent on circumstances. Not the kind of hope that fades or rots or becomes outdated.

Sure, it’s okay to hope for promotions or raises or new friends or respect or health or significant others.

But it isn’t the provision that ultimately satisfies. It is the Provider.

“Hope” is our assurance that God will finish all He has started, and our confidence that He will do all He has promised.

I think God likes making us wait. It may be the primary way He shapes and molds and prunes and grows and refines His children. He knows that it’s in the journey where we learn to place our hope in Him only.

Not in the creation, but in the Creator.

Not in the presents, but in His presence.

Not in what’s under the tree, but in what’s on the tree.

Have you ever finally wrapped your hands around something that you wanted for a long time? Have you ever achieved something you worked so hard for? But you still felt empty, like there was something still missing?

David understood this feeling and wrote, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

So may we put our hope in the One who heard our cries and who cried for us, born in a manger.

May we place our hope in the One who stepped boldly into our dark and dreary world with a bright and shining light.

May we rest our hope in the One who will never stand us up for lunch, leave us out in the cold, or break a promise.

May we find our hope in the One who doesn’t turn His back on us when we fail, but who picks us up, dusts us off, and gives us another chance.

In these next few weeks, may we ready our hearts and minds for the arrival of Jesus.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

 

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