Every year I pick a song.
A few years ago, I made a Spotify playlist of Christmas songs I listen to, and add to, every year. But each year, one song stands out from the rest. I play it on repeat and sing at the top of my lungs each time. Three years ago it was I Celebrate the Day by Relient K. Two year ago, Gloria by Michael W. Smith, last year – Mistletoe by Tenth Avenue North.
This year, it turned out to be a two-year-old song by Hillsong.
Normally, the song is picked just because it’s catchy. And Seasons isn’t very catchy. I don’t know how it managed its way on to my playlist: I skipped it every time in 2017 and 2018.
2019 was a year. I graduated. I worked three jobs to stay afloat. Ate off the discount rack at the grocery store. I couldn’t find anywhere to live. Listened a little too long to voices telling me I was too young, too inexperienced, too stupid, too crazy and difficult to live with. I left the Church. Used up and left behind, bewildered about its devotion to ungodly presidents masquerading as saviors, angry about its insistence on perfection from staff members and congregants, horrified at its behavior on my life and those around me. I applied to graduate school and have no idea where I’ll be living, what I’ll be studying, or what I’ll be doing in less than a year. I broke down multiple times. My family and friends struggled against invisible demons. Husbands cheated on wives and people lost jobs and children.
If I have been taught anything this year, it’s the nature of patience. If I have uttered anything loudly and silently, whispered and screamed, it’s I Believe That My Season Will Come. I have not learned how to be patient, how to quiet the anxiety of what comes next, how to cease the heartbreak of closed doors and dissipated dreams.
But I have learned something: There is so much beauty in the waiting, friends. There is grief and worry. Heartbreak and chaos. Unparalleled beauty. Promises fulfilled.
The birth of Jesus was a prophecy that demanded patience from the Jews. Patience was a familiar call for them. 40 years of walking, a Biblical lifetime, before they were allowed into the Promised Land. Three days of marching around some walls. 700 years of waiting for the Messiah to appear.
This was familiar to me, and unhelpful. 40 years of journeying to a Promised Land is nothing I’ll experience. I won’t be asked to march around a city. I’m not important enough to be mentioned in a 700 year old story. What I love about Seasons is how it pairs the nature of patience with the story of Jesus in a way I hadn’t encountered before.
You could have saved us in a second
Instead You sent a child
There are so many reasons to send Jesus as a child. The unexpectedness. The humility. The example of humanity. But what if another motivation was the patience of waiting for a child to not only arrive, but survive long enough to die? Another period of forced patience.
Maybe this is your winter and you’re banging your fists on the ice waiting for it to break the sunlight back in. I believe that your season will come. A season out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land. A season that walls crumble and you storm the place that your enemies used to torment you. A season of new life that even the darkest night cannot stomp out.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends. A new season is coming. We might just have to wait for it.
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