by Aubrey Sampson
We’re about a year into one of the most unusual seasons we’ve ever been through collectively. We can see some light at the end of the tunnel. But let’s be honest, we are also processing a whole lot of change, emotion, and stress.
I wonder—if you could wade through the undue pressure that women often put on ourselves, if you could step back from this unusual cultural moment and gain some perspective—what would you love for this year to become? What hopes, dreams, or yearnings are you longing to see come to fruition?
Maybe you’re longing for a great group of girlfriends to laugh with and celebrate with. Maybe you long for a drama-free family event for once. Perhaps you’re longing for that broken relationship to finally be repaired. Perhaps you’re longing for financial provision or simply to know that God sees you and is working on your behalf. Maybe you are longing to get back to a new normal. Maybe you’re longing for something new.
I bring up the subject of longing because scripture has a lot to say about them. And even though it’s not Christmas, I’d love for us to look at the birth of Jesus, because it is filled with so much (you guessed it) longing. In fact, if you read the book of Luke, you find this incredible amount of longing surrounding the birth of Jesus:
1. Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin - longing for a baby of her own and for her shame to be removed
2. Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband - the angel Gabriel shut his mouth, so he is longing to speak again
3. The crowd outside the temple - longing to see what’s going on, longing to hear from God
4. The Emperor Augustus - longing for power
5. Israelite people - longing to hear from God after 400 years, and longing for rescue from Roman oppression
6. Mary - longing to see how her pregnancy and story unfold
7. Wisemen - longing to find the baby boy- foretold about
8. Shepherds - longing for the promised Savior
Here’s the point: the entire setup of the birth of Jesus is one of deep, deep longing. It is as if the entire world is ripe with expectation, with yearning and anticipation.
Everything historically, politically, emotionally, spiritually is just bursting at the seams—a lot like it is now—the world itself is pregnant with longing...longing for something new to happen...longing for hope to arrive...longing for rescue...longing for dreams to come true...longing for shame to be removed….longing for light in the darkness.
Into the middle of all that longing, the Son of God, the prince of peace, the light of the world, Jesus, was born.
Why? Because he is the answer to all that the world is longing for. All that you and I are longing for.
In the middle of our most significant longings, in the middle of the things we don’t have answers for or words for, in the middle of things in this world that are unresolved, God is at work, through Jesus Christ, satisfying the longings of our souls.
So back to our question—what are you longing for?
God has not forgotten your desires. God has not forgotten your dreams. God knows intimately the concerns and longings of your heart.
What we find, is that our deepest longings are not met in things, they’re not met when life returns to normal, they’re not met with hustle or striving or achievements.
All of our longings are met in Jesus Christ.
So today, surrender your longings to him and trust that he is at work, as he always has been – meeting your longings with himself.
Aubrey Sampson is a speaker, church planter, and pastor at Renewal Church in West Chicago. She is the cohost of the Nothing Is Wasted podcast and The Common Good radio show and the author of The Louder Song, Overcomer, and the upcoming Known. Aubrey is deeply passionate about helping hurting Christians embrace their God-given identities and purposes. You can follow Aubrey on Instagram.