This season, we have started to celebrate Advent. Since I come from a baptist background, I have little experience with the liturgical calendar. However, the more I experience, the more I find I love the rhythms of the year and the richness and depth it has added to my relationship with God.
I am about to tell you something big. Something about myself. Those who don’t really know me might be surprised. Those who do know me might just fall off their seats laughing, so hang on.
I am not good at waiting. Not. At. All.
As the shock wears off or the hilarious laughter subsides, stick with me. When I say, “I am not good at waiting,” it doesn’t mean that I simply dislike waiting or that it causes me frustration. A closer description might be that waiting makes me crazy. Something close to knots-in-my-stomach or can’t-focus-on-anything-else might give you a better idea of what waiting does to my system.
I purchased God Is In The Manger and have started reading it. The first line from yesterday’s entry read “Celebrating Advent means being able to wait.” Uh oh. Not a good sign. I took a deep breath and pressed on.
You see, I want to be good at waiting. I want my life to echo the psalmist’s declaration, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5-6) When I wait, I don’t want to do the impatient wiggling, worrying, fretting waiting that I do so often. I want to wait expectantly, longing for God’s promises to be fulfilled. I want to wait with sureness and confidence, eager to see what is coming but content to rest until it is His time. I am simultaneously excited about learning to wait and nervous about how this process will stretch my comfort zone.
I am reminded of the story of Elijah and the voice of God coming in the still, small whisper after the storm and fire (1 Kings 19). Elijah had to wait. He did not whine or fret about God’s presence not coming immediately. Rather, one of the most profound moments of his life came when he met the Lord in His time. I believe that the best things of God may only come after waiting. These things are experiences we walk away from having been utterly transformed.
Personally, I think the season in which God now has us is teaching me to wait more than ever before. We are waiting on God to provide partners, wisdom, networks and relationships, and to pave the way ahead of us in Germany. I am thankful for Advent to guide me as I grow in this area.
I want to leave you with an excerpt from today’s devotion:
“Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor the satisfied nor those without respect can wait. The only ones who can wait are the people who carry restlessness around with them and people who look up with reverence to the greatest in the world. Thus, Advent can be celebrated only by those whose souls give them no peace, who know that they are poor and incomplete, and who sense something of the greatness that is supposed to come, before which they can only bow in humble timidity, waiting until he inclines himself toward us – the Holy One himself.”
My heart longs to be like this.