Advent: the arrival of something important. Last week we contemplated the challenge of waiting well. As we continue through Advent, considering what we are waiting for will fill us with joy! Christmas marks the coming of the Savior, the arrival of God Himself. He did not look like the King most expected. He was overlooked by the very ones who should have known Him best. That which we ‘know’ sometimes deceives us—we need, like Zachariah, a time of silence that will lead us to praise!
Zachariah was a devout believer and servant of God, yet when given the glorious news of John’s impending arrival, earthly reality dimmed his joy with doubt. His period of silence ended as he reiterated the angel’s message and began rejoicing in God’s inimitable ways. Finding quiet to contemplate the joy we are waiting for is vital to truly appreciate the arrival of the King!In Romans 8, Paul speaks of waiting for the hope we not see. Biblical hope, confident assurance of God’s good plans, can be waited for with eagerness when patience has developed in our hearts.
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, through patience we wait eagerly.Patience is even more difficult for us than waiting! There are some beautiful truths to unpack in contemplating patience though. It is a fruit of the spirit we cannot produce by trying harder. Just as a farmer cannot make seeds sprout by pacing along the edge of the field, we cannot produce patience by stressing over its absence. Patience is best seen in contrast to what it is not. Cowardice and despondency stand in stark contrast to the beauty of patience. Courage to press on past fear and discouragement shines forth in patience. Wrath and revenge lash out while patience presses humbly forward. Christian character is brought to completion by patience, but patience is delivered only by Christ. That is the advent we are to eagerly wait for—the advent we are to point others toward: Jesus Christ!
Patience (quiet, joyful waiting) testifies to the arrival of what we have been waiting for: the unseen hope. Receiving the strength of Jesus, allowing Him room in our hearts, will dispel doubt and discouragement. It will allow us to wait with joyful eagerness. Rather than rely on what we already ‘know’ and ‘do’, let us quietly consider the coming King. Humbleness that recognizes our need for more than what we have makes room for His arrival. Prepare room for Jesus in your days…not just in the Advent season but all year long. His desire is for daily communion, moment by moment appreciation for His arrival!