December 11, 2012

Advent and Waiting

*This will be posted later this month on my church's blog as part of their daily advent devotionals. I just really wanted to post it on my blog too. :)

Growing up, I always knew about Advent. My family had an Advent wreath that we would light each Sunday evening, and on Christmas day. As kids, my little brother and I were never allowed to open presents until my father read the Christmas story out of Luke. The older I got, the more annoyed and impatient I got with this tradition. I had not yet grasped the concept that Advent was actually a season of waiting – waiting for the coming of Christ.

You would think that waiting would get easier with age, but it doesn’t. I think we just get better at feigning patience. This is probably the first Christmas season where I have truly found myself in an attitude more appropriate for Advent. No early Christmas shopping. Halfway through December, I haven’t baked any Christmas cookies yet. Instead of exciting plans or ‘Christmas spirit’, I am much more focused on waiting for God. Waiting for Him to show up in my life, waiting for Him to provide, and waiting for His direction.

I would like to say that this attitude has come out of my intense devotion to Christ, but that is so far from true it’s not even funny. I feel like this past year has been particularly trying for me, and I have reached a point where I’m just waiting. It might be more of an “I give up! Whatever, God. Just do Your thing” than it is patiently waiting. But as the psalmist writes in Psalm 119, “It was good for me to be afflicted, that I might learn Your decrees.

In this season of Advent, I am clinging to the hope, love, peace and joy that Christ promises. “Remember Your word to Your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:49-50 I can honestly say that the Christmas songs on the radio and the decorations everywhere are just not doing it for me this year. I much prefer the declaration that “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Rev. 4:8 Let us repeat this declaration, day and night, as we wait for the Lord and His promises.