|November 11, 2015|
Each time I talk about Advent, I'm amazed at how many people aren't really all that familiar with it. I've gone back and forth about how to blog over the next month or so (Christmas goes clear to January 6th in my house)....I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'll tell you this: I'm learning SO MUCH from the time that I've been spending in God's Word alongside Andrew Murray's book that is packed to the gills with TRUTH and I have this need to share it with you.
Murray wrote the introduction 120 years ago. Apparently, much of it was composed aboard a ship. It blows me away that some man's scribbles from 1895 got turned into a book and that that little book found its way into my hands exactly when I needed to read it. God does not leave ANYTHING to chance.
With my friend Alice in the hospital battling pneumonia, another member of my family taking their leave this Christmas (my sister is leaving for 3 weeks TOMORROW), and the general sense of "in-betweeness" that came with the shape our life took in August, this Advent season has been the EPITOME of waiting on God. I'm reminded of the words of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:12 "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
Yesterday as I made my way to the elevator after spending some more time with Alice, I thought to myself, "THIS is what it means to wait on God." When I drove by the playgrounds full of children who had just had lunch and I noticed only pairs of little girls, the tears began to pour down my cheeks. Children follow and wait and trust so willingly. Before they know it, these children will be at the end of their lives or walking beside someone they love who is having to fight to stay strong in the Lord during a difficult time where death is near but will not come. They will long for God to grant them the ability to follow and wait and trust as willingly as they did during their playground days.
Advent is the time for preparing. We look back on what God has done in the birth of Christ. We look forward to the day when Christ returns. We savor the JOY His birth brought to the people who recognized Him as Messiah. Advent can be a time to meet with God to shore up your hope in Him. Advent is the time to renew our waiting upon God.
Murray wrote these words to introduce his book and I think they serve as a great introduction to Advent, "We want to wait on Him, to put away our experiences, however blessed they have been; our conceptions of truth, however sound and Scriptural we think they seem; our plans, however needful and suitable they appear; and give God time and place to show us what He could do, what He will do."
He continues with these words, "...Would God that we might get some right conception of what the influence would be on a life spent not in thought, or imagination, or effort, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, wholly waiting upon God."
God calls His people to wait on Him. By His grace and the power of the Helper granted to us by our Savior, we CAN wait on Him. This kind of waiting is for the praise of His glory. Alice is waiting on Him. I'm considering these things and asking myself the question whose answers bears so much weight, "Am I waiting on Him?"
"'Be silent unto God,' and thou shalt know
The quiet, holy calm He doth betsow
On those who wait on Him; so shalt thou bear
His presence, and His life and light e'en where
The night is darkest, and thine earthly days
Shall show His love, and sound His glorious praise.
And He will work with hand unfettered, free,
His high and holy purposes through thee...
And He will work for thee. Stand still and see
The victories thy God will gain for thee..." - Freda Hanbury
This post is part of a series on what I'm studying right now. To learn more about Advent or to read more posts in this series click HERE.