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  • Stacy Sanchez

The God of Until

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you" (Genesis 18:15 NIV).



Some of my most beloved memories of raising my children are of our Christmas traditions. And we had a ton of them! I may overdo it a bit. Five trees aren't over the top, right? My husband begs to differ as he pulls them down from the garage rafters.

But nothing is more magical to me than seeing my children’s (now my grandchildren’s) eyes light up as the house is turned into a winter wonderland of yuletide festivity. Would he want to deprive the next generation of my Christmas crazy?

One of our traditions was to read a part of the Christmas story together before dinner. The twenty-four days before Christmas, one of the children read a section from the Bible while another hung a picture symbolizing that part of the story onto a tree we had sitting on the dining table. (Oops, make that six trees.)

I’ve read the story so many times I can recite it like Linus in the Peanuts Christmas special: “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. The glory of the Lord shone round about them. And they were sore afraid…” Can anything new be found in these passages?

This year, I prayed, “Lord, please pour out your spirit and illuminate your word anew.” And he did. As I read the passages in Matthew and Luke, I was surprised by how often the word “until” is used.

Two examples are:

“But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And gave him the name Jesus” (Matthew 1:25, NIV emphasis added).

“When they (The Magi) had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child and kill him (Matthew 2:13, NIV emphasis added).

“Until I tell you.” Hmmm…

When a word jumps off the page, pay attention. God may be speaking. “What do you want me to learn, Father?”

My mind recalled the years I’ve been praying for the health of one of my loved ones. I’ve cried out. I’ve believed. I’ve stood on the biblical promises of healing. I’ve pleaded with God to heal his precious child. In desperation, I even offered to trade my life for hers. It breaks my heart to watch the illness run rampant in her little body. If I were honest, my faith has waned a bit.

We are living in crazy times. (Can I get an amen!?) Like me, many are worried and crying out to God:


  • I don’t know if I can hold on until my finances are back in order.

  • I don’t know if I can hold on to my house until I have the money to pay the mortgage.

  • I don’t know if I can hold on to this marriage until our problems are resolved.

  • I don’t know if my health will hold out until a cure exists.

  • I don’t know if I can hold on until my children are out of trouble.

  • I don’t know if we are safe until the virus is gone.


The Jewish people cried out to God for centuries. They were promised a Savior, the One, that God would send to deliver them from their worries and enemies. “How much longer until the Savior arrives?” they would cry. This is the season we celebrate God’s fulfillment of his promise of a Savior.

Throughout the Bible, we are reassured God will never leave us or forsake us. He is a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, when times are hard and we wonder, “How much longer do I have to hold on until…?” Take heart. God is in total control and will hold on to us when we think we can’t hold on any longer. “At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen” (Isaiah 60:22, NLT).

Is there something that you have been crying out to God about? Hold on in faith until he answers. He has always fulfilled his promises. He is the God of “Until.”

Heavenly Father, this is the season we celebrate your promises fulfilled. The ancient, long-awaited prophesies of a Savior came beautifully into fruition with the birth of Jesus. Thank you for always being faithful to us, even when we have not been faithful to you. We know no matter what is happening in our lives, you are at work for good. We love you, Lord. And look forward to the day that our prayers will be answered in your perfect timing.

We will hold on to you, until…



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