Skip to main content

Waiting Without



When you are waiting you are without what you are waiting for. As a new grandmother I experience this absence in an intense way. On the second Sunday of Advent I had to leave my post as chief cook and bottle washer after Lila was born. It's a role every grandmother covets and carries out with the greatest of love.
Since I live several states away, I won't be able to see her again for three weeks. During weeks three and four of Advent, I will not only wait for Christmas, but also I will wait to be reunited with Lila, this time with Grumps by my side; his wait to meet her is a little longer than mine. Waiting to see Lila again puts me in touch with the intense ache of being without what my heart longs for.
Perhaps this absence of what we most want is part of the reason we distract ourselves from the spiritual gift of Advent. Maybe it is the angst of waiting that compelled us to create fantasies of gifts, parties, feasts, and endless shopping during the season of Advent. It's hard to feel the absence of what you most desire when your mind is totally preoccupied otherwise.

When John the Baptist began preaching and baptizing in the wilderness, he was in the same state as we find ourselves at Advent.  The Messiah’s coming had been prophesied hundreds of years before. and the state of Israel was desperately in need of rescue from the oppressive Roman government.  It was a time much like our own.  John, however, insisted that those who wanted to be ready to meet Jesus should focus on preparing and making their paths straight. He said
:
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him (Matthew 3:1-2).
Clearly there are fulfilling spiritual tasks to focus on in Advent. Advent is not just about twiddling your thumbs, waiting on what you really want.  Advent calls you to active waiting.  You will not miss Advent if you prepare and make your paths straight. Traditionally these four weeks before Christmas were days of fasting up until the Christmas Feast to celebrate Christ's birth with great joy prepared for a hungry tummy, It's an extremely difficult season to fast these days. In fact, you probably need to eat a high protein diet to keep up with the physically demanding tasks such as putting up Christmas lights, increasing your social life by attending parties and all that shopping! 
However, you can prepare and make your paths straight by creating a quiet space just between you and your Lord each day of Advent.  You can read an Advent devotion, or simply sit in front of your Christmas tree and ponder the miracle of your salvation.

Copyright © 2016.  Deborah R Newman teatimeforyoursoul.com  All Rights Reserved.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thank You Dad

Recently I have been contemplating why it is ingrained in me that I must be quiet and respectful and look at the flag when the national anthem is played.  It’s as natural for me as standing for the Hallelujah Chorus during Handel’s Messiah or for the Bride when she walks through the back door.  Like a Pavlov dog, my instincts go into action, and I do not even think about my somewhat conditioned response. Why?  It was definitely my own father who had the most influence over me regarding the national anthem.  I am not a sports enthusiast.  However, from a young age I found myself at sports games because my older brother played every sport offered.  Our family faithfully attended those games, which normally started with the national anthem.  I found a way to enjoy the otherwise agonizing experience of being held prisoner to my brother’s sporting events by gravitating to my friends who were there under duress as well.  We made up games of our own; we would laugh and talk throughout the q…

You Shall Not Be Overcome

I distinctly remember sending this quote by Julian of Norwich to a recently widowed friend of mine over ten years ago.  You will not be overcome.
God did not say you will not be troubled,
You will not be belaboured,
You will not be disquieted;
But God said, You will not be overcome.
The quote in one of my devotional books for July 23, which marks the day I became a widow myself is by the same author.  “One day God spoke to me and I heard these words, “you won’t be overcome.”  God wants us to pay attention to His words.  God wants us to be strong in our certainty in Him, always, both in good times and in bad.  The Lord loves us, and God so enjoys our company.  God loves being with us and wants us to love Him and enjoy being with Him and trust Him completely, and all will be well.”  As I write this six years since his death I can attest to the reality that all will be well.  God chose to bless me with a second marriage to a wonderful man who holds my hand through this hur…

The Worst

What is the worst thing you think could happen to you?  There are so many options in a fallen world that it is hard to consider the worst.  We try not to think about it.  We do think we are going through the worst thing when we lose a loved one, are betrayed by a friend or family, sent to prison, or become the victim of a crime.  You know the worst thing that has happened to you.  You can think of someone for whom you are grateful that what happened to that person didn’t happen to you.               The world is full of frightening and dreaded options of worst case scenarios.  When you read the Bible, it is not hard to decide what the worst thing that could happen in your lifetime would be.  The Bible makes it clear that the worst is that you do not believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and be saved.               That sounds like a Sunday School answer doesn’t it?  It doesn’t feel that bad to say “No Thank You” to God.  Many don’t even recognize the day that they to…