I've had an agenda in mind for what God would do for me. Was it to conform me to the image of His Son? What image did I have in mind?
Was it one of power and glory? Here and now? Princess of God? Woman of valor? Strong? Powerful? Free?
Did it have anything to do with humility? Obedience? Endurance of suffering? Thinking more highly of others than myself? Death to self? Following the Foot Washing King, even the cross-bearing One?
I don't think I have the image wrong, but the order I get wrong all the time. I put the glory before the suffering.
Does not the seed have to die before it becomes a flower? Did not the One whom I'm to be made like suffer before He was raised? Did not the One who said He was Lord and King, come first as a servant to all?
One day I will enjoy the glory, the strength and the wonders of being made like Him. But first I must be made like Him. Like Him in submission. Like Him in obedience. Like Him in suffering. Like Him in willingness to lay down my life. Like Him in loving. Like Him in serving. Like Him in dying.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.- Phil.2:5-13
Could you not watch one hour?- Christ, from Mark 14:37
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God... And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.- Romans 8:16-19, 23-25
So I wait in this advent with hope. Every day is advent. Not for the first. The first has come. The first is here. I am being conformed to the image of the King of Glory who has come as a Suffering Servant in humility, obedience, willingness to suffer to bring the truth that frees to another, to self-sacrificially love, to die, to live "my life for yours", to watch and pray. But I wait for the advent of what I don't yet see. And I wait with patience, because I wait in hope, in confidence. One day He will come in glory. And when I see Him, by the immeasurable riches of His grace, I will be made like Him. I will shed the perishing and put on the imperishable. He is in His rightful place, but then I will get to see Him that way. Life will be right. The One I wait for, the One who I know is mine I will see and I will be His forever!
Behold, I am a servant of the Lord. Let it be to me, according to the Word!