Waiting with God {The Hope of Advent}

If Advent is about waiting, one must really ask, for what are you waiting?

As the story goes, we’re waiting for Jesus. Waiting to celebrate the ‘date’ of his birth in Bethlehem 2,000+ years ago. We’re also waiting for his promised return.

Waiting is something God’s people do. I think waiting is what teaches us most about faith and trust and hope. When the Apostle Paul describes love, he first qualifies it as patient (I Cor. 13:4). In the transformative practice of waiting, we learn to how to love and to be loved by God. As time passes, we learn that spiritual maturity leads us from waiting on God to waiting with God.

In Advent we step into the story of ages past, where people–God’s people–walk in darkness. They have been oppressed by their enemies without, as well as the ones like faithlessness, disobedience, and idolatry, from within. Into the desperateness of the darkness, God speaks a promise:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness…For a child will born for us, a son will be given to us (Isaiah 9:2 +6).

The waiting begins. It goes on and on and on. Thousands of years of waiting. {Stop and think about that. In a grab and go society, t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-s of years needs a little pondering for our hearts to get it.} Generation after generation waits on God…in the darkness.

They waited for a miracle. It would take a miracle to light their darkness.

In faithfulness to His promise and in response to the distress of His people, God sends Jesus.

  • When your people, who you deeply love, are beaten down and barely holding on, you send your best crisis response team. Wonderful Counselor. 
  • When an angelic emissary won’t do, you send the one with unmatched power. Mighty God.
  • When time appears to be running out and expiration seem eminent, you send the one who dazzled and delighted the creation into being. Eternal Father.
  • When wars have whittled away your borders and ravaged your peace of mind, you send the one who can rule and reign things back together again. Prince of Peace.

Jesus. God sending Himself, because there are times when an important job will only be done right if you do it yourself. 

And that act of God change the course of waiting forever. Incarnation changed the way we wait. Jesus is with us–because the light dawned and a Son was born, the Spirit dwells in us. We no longer wait on God, we wait with God. 

This is no ordinary waiting. It’s of miraculous proportions. It’s the miracle of us being loved and able to love. Each day. Every day.

And for what do we wait?

The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever (Isaiah 9:7).

It seems like a pipe dream when power brokers bully us out of belief in God’s dominion, when prosperity rides the waves of economic upturns and downturns, when justice seems thwarted as abortion rates rise and poverty increases, and when righteousness has become passe. It’s easy to forget God’s promises when all we can see are the needs that cry out for the miracle of their fulfillment.

There is still darkness, but it will not overcome the light (John 1:5). The Light shone and is shining. Let Advent hope remind you that God keeps His outrageous promises. Our hope is Jesus. Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Eternal Father. Prince of Peace. He is with us. 

Wait with God. Be loved by Him.

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