Joyous Birth

My husband and I have always wanted children. We endured seven years of failed treatments in an effort to have a child of our own. We finally gave up, and decided we'd travel and maybe adopt a child one day. But, God had other, better plans. Surprisingly, in July of 1999, we welcomed our long-expected firstborn child, Meredith Marie.

The timing of this birth was not convenient, by any means. I had just begun a new job, and my husband was just getting his business off the ground.

Yet, joy doesn't come close to encompassing the feelings we had looking into her perfect little newborn face. I still remember the way her cute little nose looked, her perfect little eyes and cheeks, and the precious way she wiggled and stretched her little arms. She was and is a long-awaited blessing.

The baby, Jesus, was a long-expected blessing. Can you imagine how Simeon and Anna felt in Luke 2, as they beheld the long-awaited Savior of the World as a baby? The Bible gives us a glimpse of Simeon's reaction in Luke 2:30-35, "I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Jesus' birth had been prophecied and talked about for many hundreds of years, yet its timing was also both unexpected and inconvenient for Mary and Joseph. We can all recount the story of them traveling to Bethlehem, finding no room in the Inn, and giving birth in a stable. The world had waited so long for this miraculous birth.

I don't know about you, but I'm terrible at waiting--especially for something really good that I know is coming. True confessions: I always peeked in the "present stack" as a child at Christmas time, and I definitely cannot keep either chocolate or a really juicy secret for more than a day.

Simeon and Anna got to peek in the present stack, and see the very best gift anyone has ever seen--Jesus. They blabbed this tremendously juicy secret with great joy to all who would hear.

The wonderful hymn, entitled, "Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus" by Charles Wesley, says this: "Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart."

May Jesus fulfill your every longing this Christmas, may you blab joyfully of His goodness, and may you have the best Christmas you've ever had in your life.