Having a heart of Advent means preparing for the Lord’s return. A big part of preparing for the second coming of Christ involves waiting. As His people, we must wait.
In faith, we “wait for the Lord, and in His word we hope” (Psalms 130:5). Even when “God hides His face, we wait with hope” (Isaiah 8:17). Our faith at times, is supported only by the promises (Psalms 27:14; Lamentations 3:25-26; Isaiah 30:18).
God calls us to waiting. And yet, waiting is not easy nor something that we are innately good at. For decades I trained people in how to minister to grieving people. I used to say, “We are taught and become experts at living out the idiom, ‘don’t just stand there do something’. Generally without training and left to our own devises, we do all the wrong things for the bereaved. But to truly caress and minister to the broken heart, we must remember we cannot “just do something, we MUST stand, listen and be a presence of love and support”. Waiting is a spiritual discipline.
Waiting as we see it in people on the first pages of the gospel, is waiting with a sense of promise. ‘Zechariah your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son’. ‘Mary, listen! You are to conceive and bear a son’ (Luke 1: 13, 31). People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait. They have received something that is at work in them, like a seed that has started to grow. This is very important. We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun for us. So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more. Zechariah, Mary, and Elizabeth were living with a promise that nurtured them, that fed them, and that made them able to stay where they were. And in this way, the promise itself could grow in them and for them” (A Spirituality of Waiting by Henri J.M. Nouwen).
So as we wait and trust, and wait some more, here is a promise for you my special friend…
“…But 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).