“Come, thou long expected Jesus” has been one of my favorite Christmas songs for years and years. It has always brought tears to my eyes, especially in those years where waiting, wondering, and the desire for deliverance were part of the holiday season. This year, I found myself hearing it in a different light completely, and it took me by surprise. This year, I find myself relating with Mary in a brand new way.
I found out I am expecting my first child a month or so ago, and much like Mary, I was shocked and surprised. (Unlike Mary, this conception was not immaculate).
I thought of Mary, knowing that the world’s savior was growing inside of her. And
I am finally beginning to understand and relate to the Israelite’s longing and waiting for Jesus. They knew He was coming, as did Mary. Mary lived the Israelites longing in a real way. She watched him growing in her belly, she felt him kick, he made her nauseous, and I’m fairly certain that donkey trip to Bethlehem was not enjoyable for anyone involved. But when Jesus was born, Mary knew her waiting was over. And, the long expected savior was here. But more than that, the child she loved and waiting long months for, was here. The aches and pains, the cravings and uncomfortable nights, the tears of joy and sadness, the fears, the questions, the last 40 weeks, they were over. The long expected Jesus was here. I am beginning to understand the joy that Elizabeth and Zacharias experienced when Jesus was near to John the Baptist. Everyone had been waiting, and He was finally here! They had been waiting for this loved child, and they had been waiting for deliverance. There is little sweeter than waiting for a promised gift and finally receiving it.
Mary and I are not really similar at all. She was a teen, a virgin, not-educated, engaged to a carpenter, and not wealthy. I am a 30 year old, educated, middle class, married woman. She was carrying the Christ, who was fully man and fully God. I am carrying a baby, just a human. But we are similar in that we waited. She waited for a long time to see Jesus, I wait to see my baby. She wondered what it would be like to give birth, I wonder the same thing. And she arrived at the end of her waiting, just as?. I will. She learned to trust God, and love something inside of her she didn’t even fully understand. I am learning to trust God and love this baby that I am still confused by. And when, God willing, this baby comes into the world in July, I will understand what it’s like to see the resolution and gift of a long road of waiting and expecting.
My hope for this Christmas season is that we all learn to expect that Jesus is coming again. That we can wait with eager anticipation, much like a pregnant momma, and learn to trust the process, that the end will come, and that our long expected Savior will return. May we wait with the faith of Mary. May we celebrate the promise with the giddiness of John the Baptist. May we long with the heart of an expectant mother. Because just as Mary waited for Jesus to arrive, knowing full well that He was on His way, we can wait with the same hope. He’s not growing in our bellies, but He is coming back. And we can expect Him just as a pregnant momma can expect that one day her child will enter the world and forever change the hearts of those around Him.
Come, thou long expected Jesus. We are waiting for you.
Kacy Davis lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband, Collin. She is a special education teacher and advocate of those with special needs and loves her job. She spends her time riding bikes with her husband, running, reading, and enjoying those she loves. Kacy believes in reinventing what it means to be a woman and wife who loves the Lord and longs to help others learn to love the Lord with abandon, freedom, and a greater understanding of grace. She writes here.