John-Morgan (creative commons)
Grace in the Waiting
I love the Advent season. It’s such a beautiful time of reflection as we remember the coming of Jesus two thousand years ago. I love to remember the birth of Jesus. I love to think about that night so long ago. It probably wasn’t nearly as shiny and pretty as our nativity scenes. It probably wasn’t very silent, but it was perfect. It was the perfect picture of grace.
Advent is also about waiting. It’s a few weeks of observing that period of anticipation of the coming of Jesus. Jesus came as a baby, and he’s coming again soon. He completed the story that God crafted from the beginning of time. The Christmas season, the season of Advent, is a beautiful time to remember and to wait.
Anticipation and waiting are truly part of the Christian journey. We wait for the completion of God’s promises. We wait for God to come through and show us why we went through our trials. We wait for our trials to end. We wait on good or bad news, jobs, spouses, and children. We have desires in our hearts but sometimes life seems like it’s mostly times of waiting. And many of those seasons of waiting can also be categorized as trials or storms. We may feel like we are alone in the storm, wondering if God has turned his back on us or has fallen asleep (See Mark 4:35-41). But as my pastor Louie said this morning:
“Life is full of storms, but storms are full of Jesus.”
Advent is a time of anticipation and waiting, but this season can also bring pain as we wait for times of peace or remember loved ones who are no longer with us. Or maybe money is tight and you don’t know how to explain to the kids about the lack of presents this year. Maybe you are far from home and feel alone. Maybe you’re struggling with a diagnosis or a deep loss. Just remember that in this season, there is grace. There’s grace in the waiting. God has given so much grace to us and loves YOU so very deeply. He is there in the storm, and he’s there in the quiet season of waiting.
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Cor 12:9
Rest in the grace of God this season. Take quiet pauses to remember the coming of our Lord. And if you are going through a storm this season, remember that Jesus is right there with you. The tiny baby in a manger that we will celebrate in a couple short weeks is the creator of the universe, died for you, and is now walking this journey with you.
(Author’s Note: This post was inspired by a recent talk by Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church. A video of his message can be found at www.passioncitychurch.com)