Waiting for the greatest joy to arrive
It's such a small word that carries within it the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, disappointments into delight, the mundane into a divine encounter with the God who gives us his breath to breathe. It's a level of peace, contentment and excitement deeper and more constant than happiness, and no matter how else you try to get it, it only comes from God alone.
Sometimes I really don't like that. I don't want it to be God alone who fills me -- I want to fill this gaping hole in my heart with the things that I think I want; with my own plans, desires and timing. I try to shove and cram other things into this hole in my heart that must be like Mary Poppins' bag because it never gets full. I get so frustrated and feel so empty and confused, placing my hope in other people, things and plans that were never meant to satisfy my heart like only the God who loved me into being can. I forget -- or never realized in the first place -- that my whole life's purpose is to be made into the very image of God, waiting with bated breath for his return and the forever with him. I underestimate what a fulfilling adventure a life lived like this is.
As crazy as it sounds, I am grateful for the times I experience this dissatisfaction. I am grateful to get to understand that nothing and no one except for God fulfills me in that deepest place where I long to be filled. I am grateful to see how my plans and dreams -- no matter how good they are -- only bring me misery if I seek them apart from Jesus. As much as I want my plans and dreams, I want Jesus more. The joy and sweetness that come from being given up to him and desiring to be with him more than anything else is worth whatever it takes to have that. I am grateful that he understands how hard it is to trust him and that he helps me give him my life, tenderly leading me past my idols because he wants me with him more than anything, too.
God is the Giver of the best gifts, always surprising me with exactly what I want and need. This Advent I want to refocus on the one I'm really waiting for, knowing I can place all my hope and expectations in him. I want to revel in the fact that he is always waiting for me to be ready to experience the deep love that is the same love he always lavishes upon me, whether I feel close to him or not.
I want to open all of me up so that Jesus can fill me with all that he is, for him to take my heart, mind, body, spirit and soul and form his nature in me. I want to let go of everything and free fall into his love. I want to wait in expectant hope for him, my heart yearning more than anything for the day of our face-to-face.
I want my body to be a stable for Jesus to be born in, the birthplace of the greatest joy.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.