But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,
born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Gal. 4:4–7 (ESV)
Lord Jesus, sometimes my ache and impatience collide at the intersection of deepest longings. That’s when I need to remember this: At “the fullness of time,” you came—not a day early, or a second late. God is never late with the best things, and even the best things come in messy packages.
The circumstances of your birth were less than ideal, to put it mildly. But providence, not happenstance “called the shots.” Sovereign grace, not the Roman Empire, determined your entrance into the world.
As non-Hallmark-Movie-like as it was to be born under the ceiling of a stable, being born under the weight of the law was a gazillion times greater burden. Yet that’s exactly why you came into the world—to fulfill the demands of the Law for us.
Because you lived and died in our place, we’re no longer beleaguered slaves, but beloved children. We are perfectly forgiven and robed in your righteousness, sealed with the Spirit and Fathered by God, prayed for every moment and heirs of the new earth. These redemptive goodies make my lack of faith and trust look rather silly.
And one Day—one blessed, perfectly-timed Day, you will return to finish making all things new. No abacus, group of accountants, or room full of computers can possibly calculate the riches of grace we’ve been given in you.
Forgive us (me) when our impatience is more passionate than our worship, and when we act more childish than childlike. Keep rescuing us from our nagging unbelief, little-trust, and gospel amnesia.
During the remainder of Advent, free us to wait in love and love with hope. May we welcome the outsider, care for the broken, and serve one another. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.