In 2009, I wrote a series of Advent blogs titled “The Gifts of Advent.” I’ve posted the series several times since and decided to post them again this year because of new readers and because sometimes we could all use a reminder of just some of the gifts of God. I pray that as you read the blog each day, God will reveal more of His character and more of His gifts to you. As you anticipate the remembrance of the birth of our Savior, may your heart be filled with love, your mind filled with peace and may you know the abundance of life our Savior bought for you through His birth, death, and resurrection.
The Gift of Waiting
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Is. 40:31
The above verse is one of my favorites. I use it frequently in my blogs, in counseling and in encouraging myself. I will mention how some Biblical translations use the word “hope” instead of “wait” and that hope can be used as an acronym for Heart Of Peace and Expectation.
More often than not, when we are waiting on the Lord to answer our prayers—to give us wisdom and guidance about a situation we face, to see His healing manifested in our own body, or that of a loved one—there are lessons that God wants us to learn. Perhaps He desires for us to grow in grace and mercy. Maybe He wants us to learn to be more patient. Or He wants our relationship with Him to grow deeper. It could be that the timing is not right for His answer to be known. Regardless of why the answer has not come, there is a reason we are waiting.
Advent is a season of busyness. We go to this party and that gathering, we sing Christmas carols, shop till we drop, bake and cook. I think we have lost the fact that Advent is a season of waiting. We are so busy running from one store to another, one party to another, we have forgotten that Advent heralds the coming of Christ. Just as an expectant mother anticipates, prepares and waits for nine months the arrival of her newborn, Advent is a period of anticipating, preparing and waiting for the birth of our Savior.
It is my prayer that in some small way, these remaining devotions that you will read during Advent will help you to slow down for a few minutes each day and remember the Reason for the Season. As we look forward to the remainder of the Advent season, may the birth of our Savior renew in you a Heart Of Peace and Expectation.
“Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.”
Text: Charles Wellsley 1707 – 1788
Music: Rowland H. Pritchard
Father, as we wait during this Advent Season, help us to take a few minutes each day to think about the Reason for the Season. May we wait with a heart of peace and expectation. And when You speak to us, may we hear with open ears, and a heart ready to receive. In Jesus’ most precious name we pray, AMEN.