This month we will be sharing a collection of short readings by Northeastern Seminary alumni as they reflect on and rejoice in the gifts of God's grace and the signs of Christ present during this Advent Season. Today's guest post was written by Desjamebra Julian Robinson.
What are we expecting this season? Our culture demands that we should begin making our shopping lists for food, groceries, and gifts. We spend time filling out our lists, deciding who to invite for dinner, attending church services, and participating in many other activities during this season. With all of our expectations, have we forgotten to expect a word from God?
Expectation. Is this not the drive of our faith? The Bible says, “Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). My daughter asked me early in the year for a specific gift. She wanted an Xbox and a Barbie-sized doll house. The timeline did not matter to her. She did not care whether she received it on her birthday, for Christmas, or any other time. Her focus was on receiving what has been requested. As a single parent, I had to make a decision. What would be the right time? When could I afford the time, finances, and make the sacrifice to fulfill her request? I began to count the cost, preparing to obtain this gift, to give to someone I love.
As this season approached, I began to tell my daughter to gather up the toys she had outgrown. I explained to her that if she was expecting the items she requested that we would need to make room to receive them. We have limited space where we live and to add more items would cause clutter and frustration. I explained that clutter would cause her to become overwhelmed with her environment, and I want her area to be easy to keep clean and comfortable. So she began to prepare based on her expectation to receive the gifts she had asked for. Although she had not seen them and did not know if she would receive them and although I had not purchased the gifts and did not know when I would be able to get them, we prepared room to receive.
With expectation we are looking to receive a gift from God. Not a tangible gift, but a gift in the Spirit. We do not know, when, where, or how God will bless us with what we have asked for (joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.). Yet we have faith that we will be blessed. Therefore we must prepare to receive the gift of God. We must make room for God’s blessing in our lives. As adults we have come face to face with all kinds of adversity, sickness, anxiety, poverty, and such that come with living in this world. With all the struggles we face daily, we often find ourselves cluttered and frustrated in our spirit.
God has counted the cost and made preparations to provide for you the word of truth through Christ. God is waiting for the opportune time to bless you and see the smile of joy, not only on your face but in your heart and spirit. Yet, if we hold on to the things that clutter our lives, things that we have outgrown, things which simply take up space in our hearts and minds, will we have room to receive, or will we become frustrated and overwhelmed? I encourage you to clear out the environment in your heart, so that God can give you the gift of the Word. Are you expecting the gift of ‘The Word?’
Desjamebra Julian Robinson, M.Div. ’11, serves in ministry at Elim Christian Fellowship and is a self-employed professional cosmetologist in Rochester, N.Y.