Advent. A Season of Waiting.
Advent season is the waiting and the anticipation of what is certain to come. Waiting has been a constant theme during this year of Covid. I have realized that as I grow older, it is the theme of life. Waiting for the cancer diagnosis, waiting for a child to be born, waiting to hear news of something longed for, or dreaded.
We live in the world of the immediate, the instant food, the swift service, information at the click of the mouse. We have lost the art of waiting. The slow and meticulous walk toward a goal, a hope, a promise. Waiting does not mean standing still or doing nothing. Waiting involves a purposed plan to walk, dig the soil, save the money, and most of all prepare our hearts.
The beloved music, “Handel’s Messiah” begins with this word, “Comfort”. We don’t associate comfort with waiting. But that Isaiah passage that is sung tells us where the comfort lies. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”” Isaiah 40:1-5 NIV
We have work to do in the desert of our heart while we wait. The glory of the Lord WILL be revealed because it is from the mouth of the Lord. We must not despair as we wait for what is CERTAIN to be revealed. Instead we must be actively preparing our hearts for Christ’s second coming when we see Him face to face. The Advent of Christmas is an opportunity to practice this certain anticipation.
Let us fully enter into the comfort that God has for us in this waiting. It is not easy, but the rewards will be uncontainable. “For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” Romans 8:22-25 NLT.