My Birthday* gift is under my bed.
I didn't know it was there until a couple weeks ago when Sheena asked me to vacuum under the bed. Now I know where it's hidden.
I've known what it is for even longer. We were out shopping across the border a month ago when we found a great deal on it. So we bought it. I say we because, when you take the item that is supposed to be a gift for yourself through the check out, you are basically buying your own gift.
So yes, I know what I'm getting for my birthday. And now I know where it is hidden.
And yes, it is torture.
For days after its purchase I begged and pleaded for it to be hidden away, somewhere where I would have no knowledge of it: somewhere where I would possibly forget all about its purchase and pending delivery.
Fortunately I've been blessed with a forgetful brain. I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night knowing that my gift was merely inches beneath me.
In the store, as we were discussing the purchase of this item, I suggested that Sheena give it to me right away, and then find something small to surprise me with on my birthday.
I'm still hopeful that, any day now, Sheena will say that I've waited long enough.
I think I've still got two weeks to wait.
Most years, as Christmas approaches, we know full well the day of Christmas. We know when we will awake to gifts, and family time, and the fun that is Christmas. We know when Christmas is coming. What we don't know, is what we are receiving. We don't know the gift.
I was going over the story of Simeon again last week. I love his testimony in Luke 2. Here is a guy who knew full well the gift of God. And he waited for it patiently.
He knew that God's salvation was coming.
He just didn't know when.
How different would Christmas be this year if you told everyone what they were getting, but didn't tell them when?
Simeon held on to two promises: 1. He knew that the gift, "the consolation of Israel," was coming; 2. He knew he would live to see it.
There's a big difference between the two approaches to waiting for Christmas: between knowing what is coming but not knowing when, and knowing when but not knowing what.
This advent season, how are you waiting for Christmas, and ultimately for the fulfilment of the promises of God?
Are you waiting expectantly for the day, knowing that when it comes it will be a truly glorious day. Or are you trying to rush the process along, and with impatience get what's coming to you.
I'd like to have the joy and patience of Simeon. For I suspect that joy can come in waiting and that perhaps waiting is part of the gift.
*It is probably helpful, in understanding why I'm talking about Birthday Gifts like this, to know that my Birthday happens to be on Christmas day. That's just how I roll.