Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. James 5:7
Happy Third week of Advent. It’s the Joyful week but how many of us are thinking; ok, enough with the patient waiting already! If we’re used to running like our hair is on fire, this whole season can be a test for us. Any time we enter a new Church Season, it’s an invitation to deeper prayer; but what if we’re not “getting” what we’re praying for? We might be tempted to think God has forgotten us or not heard our pleas but rest assured, he’s absolutely aware and waiting on his perfect timing. As I wait for Christmas and use the waiting to pray, read and prepare, the words above from St. James and a quote from Henri Nouwen hit my heart. “Waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more.” Henri Nouwen
I guess I thought of waiting as empty time and I began to wonder how often I’m guilty of thinking it’s either something or nothing. Something is MY way and if it’s not going MY way then I have nothing. Boy did these words make me realize I had it wrong. I suppose I need to look at things with gratitude so I can see the somethings in my life while I’m waiting for the something mores! After I read this quote the first week of Advent I started thinking about all the times it seemed like I was waiting and God was doing nothing. I was humbled to realize he’s always in the process of giving me something more. I’ve realized that more isn’t necessarily bigger, or sparklier, or exciting but something more is always perfect for me.
The example that became the most vivid was so far back I didn’t realize he was still working on it. Years ago I prayed for him to take the pain and help me understand the reason for the death of my brother and my mom. I began praying and waiting for something that didn’t hurt so much. It dawned on me last Friday that the something I prayed for was phenomenally more than I could have imagined and it came so gradually and gently I took it for granted. Friday was a great day! It started with staff Advent prayer, next came a morning of laughter with 22 female middle lovelies who bring me so much joy and the beginning of preparation for 3 Christmas celebrations with my husband and kids and thats when it hit me! All the years I’ve been waiting, he’s been giving me something more and more and more. I think back to the loss and the waiting has delivered a might something more…a job I love more and more each year, a work family that’s amazing and a family I could have only imagined. While I was waiting for him to make me a famous speaker and author he made me something so much more…he made me more faithful, more humble and more available. While I was waiting to make more money, he made me rich in family, friendships grace and contentment. While I was waiting to get over the pain of loss, he's allowed me to walk with those who are hurting and share their pain with an understanding and compassionate heart. While I was waiting for him to give me everything I wanted he’s given me more than I could have ever imagined.
As we head into these last several days of Advent, it’s the perfect time to ponder with grateful hearts all the something mores that slipped by unnoticed and prepare to take those things with us as we gaze at the Baby in the Manger on Christmas.
A Seed To Plant: Spend some time in prayer recalling all the something mores you might have missed.
Blessings on your day!
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