“The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes.” – Malachi 3:1-2 excerpts (NLT)
Have you ever been ready for something until you got it … and then found out you were not really ready for it at all? Sometimes what we think we really want comes with changes we didn’t expect and are not prepared for.
Everyone who thinks they’re ready for a pet may not be prepared to take care of one. The walks, the food, the medical care, the pet-sitting when you’re away. All these things and more come along with the advent of pets.
Relationships, too, are much more than sentimental feelings. The constant communication and compromises require much more than sensual romantic episodes.
And many of the professional promotions we are so eager to attain place increased demands on our time and concentration.
With all our eager expectations, it behooves us to pause and consider what will be required of us when those expectations arrive. When our heart’s desire is delivered, how will it change our hearts?
Advent is the time of joyous anticipation for the coming of the Messiah. But are we really ready?
Are we really ready to be purged from the dross of elaborate but empty religiosity? Are we really ready for a deep dive of the Spirit into our personal contradictions? Are we really ready to be bleached and scoured into a newness of life?
Much more than a glorious expectation, Advent requires real preparation.
“Fix me for my starry crown. Fix me Jesus, fix me. Fix me for a higher ground. Fix me Jesus, fix me.”
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.