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Saturday, December 1, 2018 First Day of Advent: The Gift of Waiting

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 from 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 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 for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired. (Isaiah 40:31 Amplified Bible)

The above verse is one of my favorites. I use the verse when I counsel and frequently in my blogs. When I need to be encouraged, I repeat this verse to myself over and over until once again my heart is at peace, my mind is at rest, and I know that God is still in control no matter what circumstances I am facing at that time. I frequently 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 is a sacred time, a time of contemplation as we focus on the birth of God’s only son. Just as a mother anticipates the birth of her child for whom she has anticipated, prepared and waited for nine months, 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.         

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.

  “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

(c) 2018 Edwina E. Cowgill

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WAITING

As I continue to work on my book, I’m posting blogs that I wrote when i first started this blog. If you’ve already read them, I hope the Lord shows you something new that blesses you. If this is your first time reading this blog, I pray it ministers to you! This blog was first posted in January, 2011.

“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” (Isaiah 40:31 Amplified Bible)

The above scripture is one of my all-time favorites. I’m sure I’ve written about this verse, or some aspect of this verse, many times. I always like to refer to the Bible versions that use the word “hope” instead of the word “wait.” When I’m writing or talking about this verse, I always say that “hope” is an acronym for:

H   eart
O   f
P   eace [and]
E   xpectation

I am, however, beginning to like the word “wait.” Generally speaking, I think we avoid that word. In this instant age in which we live, we don’t want to wait for anything. At least, I don’t. I have so many things written in my planner and on my “to do” list and in my Blackberry, I don’t have time to wait for anything. But that is not how God wants me and you to live. He’s called us to a life of obedience and service—not a life of being so busy that I “meet myself coming as I’m going.”

Last Sunday, the Youth/Young Adult Choir at the church where I work, led the congregation in worship. This group of young people is absolutely on fire for God. It is evident in their faces and in their music. They sang a beautiful song called “I Don’t Mind Waiting.” The director of the choir had taken the words of “I Don’t Mind Waiting” by Juanita Bynum and “Bow Down” by Bishop Paul Morton and combined the two songs. Although the words were simple, the song was powerful and worshipful. So worshipful that I could almost smell the fragrance of worship as it ascended to the heavens.

I Don’t Mind Waiting

I don’t mind waiting,

I don’t mind waiting,

I don’t mind waiting on the Lord,

I don’t mind waiting,

I don’t mind waiting,

I don’t mind waiting on the Lord,

Bow down and worship Him

Worship Him

Oh, worship Him.

Bow down and worship Him

Enter in

Oh, Enter in.

This is holy ground

This is Holy Ground

So come and bow down.

Abba Father, Help us to wait upon You and to not mind waiting. There is so much You desire to teach us and show us as we wait for Your answers. Give us ears to hear, a mind to comprehend and a heart to receive. We don’t mind waiting on You, Lord. Amen.
Selah.