Every year, Christmas arrives predictably on December 25th, a fact which makes our holiday waiting a bit more bearable. At least we know when the waiting period will end. However, when I submit a book proposal, I have no idea when a publisher will get back to me. When you pray for a neighbor to accept Christ, you have no idea when your prayers will be answered. We cannot see into the future. If we knew when the end would be in sight, waiting might be just a bit easier.
Jesus laid aside his divine omniscience as he came to earth, but he had a general sense of the future. When his mother asked him to solve a problem at the wedding in Cana, he told her, “My hour has not yet come.” (John 3:4) When his brothers challenged him to attend a festival in Jerusalem, he said, “I will not go up to this festival because my time has not yet come.” (John 7:6) He waited.
Jesus waited, but not, as children long for Christmas, with excitement and anticipation of gifts. Jesus knew that the “hour” that lay ahead of him would bring great pain and sorrow. As the time of his death drew closer, he warned his disciples that he would soon leave them. “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) In the garden he prayed in agony, “Father, the hour has come.”
To get to the joy of the resurrection, he had to first pass through the pain of the cross. What about your hope for the future? Are you ready to face the pain or even suffering that may lie between you and your dream?