“'I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The Messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,' says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies" (Malachi 3:1, NLT).
Only seven more nights to sleep.
In our family, it always came down to how many nights to sleep until big events like birthdays, vacations, Disneyland trips, or the biggest of all, yearly events: Christmas.
Starting December 1, with “only 24 more sleeps,” the anticipation would build until that last week when it was “just seven more sleeps”...the final countdown, like a NASA moon shot.
What kid doesn’t get worked up over the justifiable expectation of presents from a specific list they were begged to create? Especially when there’s “only seven more sleeps.” Every tick on that countdown brings relief as well as a growing excitement that the BIG DAY is nearly here.
But to the people of Israel, God’s covenant conveyors of His redemptive promise, through whom “all the nations” would be blessed, the countdown had taken between 3,000 & 4,000 years. And when the prophet Malachi announced, “He is surely coming,” it was still over 450 years away. That’s 164,980 sleeps, though there was no set date to countdown to. They counted up and wondered, “How long, O Lord” (Psalm 90:13).
Enter that anticipation as we countdown the last seven sleeps. Imagine knowing He is coming but not knowing when. Would we still build our lives on that hope, that promise, that steadying guarantee that He is indeed coming for us? And, of course, now we wait for His next appearance as well.
Now, it’s just seven more nights to sleep until Christmas.