ADVENT, Part One: Waiting

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14)

I am planning to use the next four blog posts leading up to Christmas Day to focus on Advent. Many churches use the four weeks leading up to Christmas to focus on the real meaning of the season. The word advent means “coming” – that time of expectant waiting and preparation for the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as the babe in a manger . . . and His second coming as the conquering King of kings.

Today we will sharpen our focus on WAITING. I have never been good at waiting. As a child, the hardest thing for me was waiting for Christmas Eve, when each of the Boland children would be allowed to open one of our Christmas presents that lay so tantalizingly under the tree. After we completed that family tradition, I had to endure the long night of tossing and turning, “counting sheep,” and waiting for the sun to come up one that one day I had waited every day of the year to arrive.

Waiting today is just as difficult as it was for me as a child, for a variety of different reasons. Impatience is deeply ingrained in my sin nature. I have to keep reminding myself that waiting is one of God’s great graces in our lives, because waiting is a big part of God’s perfect plan for each one of us to mature us and grow us up in our faith.

What have you been waiting for from God this year? The prophet Isaiah said, “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 ESV). Clearly, Isaiah was talking about the Source of our power. When you picture the eagle in flight, you see that he is completely dependent upon the Lord, who has given him wings and the unseen currents of air on which he soars.

To wait upon the Lord is to live a life of dependence and trust in a power infinitely greater than our own. It is to trust God even when we cannot trace Him. It is to know that God’s will often requires waiting. And how are we to wait? We are to wait expectantly, filled with confident hope, knowing that whatever we receive from the hand of our God is always what is best for us, and it always does its best work in our lives when it comes to us in God’s perfect timing.

So as you are waiting for Christmas this year and waiting on your God to answer your prayers, let the unseen currents of life’s pressures, challenges, and difficulties lift you higher and higher, knowing that your strength is being renewed by your Redeemer . . . day by day and moment by moment. 

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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