Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome, Advent

As I snuggle under a fleecy snowflake blanket in my cozy chair, devotionals in my lap and a cup of tea in my hand, I watch the single candle flickering in the darkness. Three more will join it as the weeks go by.

It is the beginning of Advent.

Amid the crazy and lively fun of baking, decorating, and singing around the holidays, I love the hushed calm of Advent. The Church season of waiting and preparing. The season that says, 'Something wonderful is coming and you must prepare-- not by hustling and bustling but by being still and quieting your heart. Prepare Him room.'

So we prepare. And we wait.

Waiting is not one of my favorite things. I like to be doing something. Accomplishing something. Moving forward. Yet Advent teaches me that waiting can be beautiful.

In the spiritual life, waiting is not empty or stagnant. God wants our waiting to be purposeful and full of promise and hope.

Life holds so many opportunities to wait. And in an instant gratification culture, we often don't embrace those opportunties. We look at them with contempt, frustration, and restlessness. Even in Christian circles, we struggle with waiting on God's timing. Waiting for the end, the prize, the blessing.

But what if the blessing is in the waiting itself?

We don't always choose to wait. But we can choose to wait with hearts full of hope, not empty and restless hearts. We can focus on using today to prepare for tomorrow. We can quiet our souls and open them to God, asking Him to change us while we wait. To hold onto the hope of His promises when we cannot see ahead.

"When we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." (Romans 8:25)

Be still, my soul. Make room, my heart. Grow closer to your Savior in the waiting so that you recognize Him in the coming.

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