Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In the Waiting

The world felt so quiet and still. Light was just starting to break through the dark and fog danced across the water. I was the only one around, and all I could hear was my own breathing and the crunch of the snow beneath my boots. It was peaceful.

I waited for the sun to peak above the mountains. I’d trekked down to the water each morning to take photos; not even eight to ten degree temperatures could keep me away.

That last morning I almost stayed inside though. The warmth of the fire felt far more inviting than the cold. But my dedication (or obsession some might tease) with sunrises/sunsets pushed me to make the final trek of the trip down to the lake. I stood alone in the quiet, waiting for God to show up. Because my love of the sky is rooted in Him — I see His fingerprints in every sunrise and sunset and it reminds me of His infinite love.

And that morning the wait was well worth it ... He painted His glory across the sky with breathtaking strokes. 

The sense of anticipation felt fitting on this Sunday. It was the first day of Advent — a season of waiting and longing for the coming of Christ. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve begun to discover how Advent can help ground me in the truth of the season.

I remember as a kid how the month of December felt unbearably long, and Christmas Eve night felt like an eternity. Each year I eagerly worked my way through the advent calendar, excitement growing as I drew closer to that wonderful 25. I wanted each day to go quickly so that Christmas morning would finally arrive.

I grew up and out of the childhood impatience for the big day, but my love for Christmas hasn’t dwindled. I enjoy all of it, from the decorations to the baked goodies to the gatherings with friends and family. Although in the grown-up rush, it’s still easy to get wrapped up in the hurry of the season and lose sight of why I’m celebrating.

As I stood in the snow Sunday morning, I realized that while I’ve grown out of my impatient eagerness for Christmas morning, I haven’t quite grown out of my impatient desire to move forward to the next thing or step. I’m discovering this can cause me to miss out on a beauty that can only be discovered in the waiting periods.

I’ve sensed God lately; this beckoning to find Him in the now, to slow down and trust Him to work out His plans for my life. To wait hopefully, not impatiently, on Him. He has shown me joy and peace as I lean into Him.
Nearly six years ago I heard Him say “trust me,” and I’ve felt that same encouragement recently. I didn’t know then what that would look like, but now I can see how He walked with me and created beauty from those ashes. Again today, I don’t know what lies ahead. But I know that He is good and can be trusted, and because of that I have nothing to fear.

So this December, and moving forward, I wait expectantly . . .
To celebrate the greatest love story that began with a tiny baby (John 3:16)

For the day when He will return and set all things right (Hebrews 9:28)

Knowing that He is at work in all things and through all things (Romans 8:28)

Trusting He has amazing, hope-filled plans for the future (Jeremiah 29:11)

This Christmas season and in the year ahead, what are you waiting on God to do in your life? May I invite you to wait with a sense of hope as you trust in Him.