Rooted - Waiting
The weeks leading up to Christmas create for many of us a season of anticipation. Anticipation, by its very nature, is an exercise in hope and waiting. There would be no need for anticipation if our hopes were immediately fulfilled. Most of us would probably prefer it if life worked this way, but experience tells us tells us it does not. The reality is, we often find ourselves having to hold on to hope and while we wait. Sometimes, the waiting can be counted in months, as with Mary as she waited for the birth of her son, Jesus. At other times, waiting can be counted in decades, as with Zechariah and Elizabeth as they waited on God to answer their prayers for an heir, and there have been times when waiting is measured in centuries, as with the Jewish people who waited for God to break His silence and send the Messiah.
Waiting can feel like a waste, but it is not. God does not waste our waiting. If we are willing, through our waiting, God can give birth to beauty and life. It is in anticipation that we learn to trust and discover the experience of intimacy with God that is born from it. Learning to hold on to hope while we wait expands our soul and creates the space necessary for the experience of the fullness of joy, when the waiting finally comes to an end. In waiting, we grow our capacity to rejoice. Given we are in a season of anticipation, and Christmas is just around the corner, why not take a bit of time to explore with God your heart’s relationship to waiting and open yourself to what God might want to speak to you here. May this time of prayer allow your soul to grow in its capacity for faith, hope and joy.
Meditation - Take a few moments to slowly read the following passages over several times. Let each reading help focus your heart and mind on the word or thought which stands out to you. Ask yourself: What might the Holy Spirit desire to speak to me from these passages? How does my heart react to what I hear?
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:27-31
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Exploration - Take the balance of the hour to consider with God in prayer the following prompts. Do not rush. Allow the space necessary to listen for the still small voice of God. Do not feel like you have to complete every prompt. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the places He would desire to explore with you. Talk to him about what you discover as you follow him into these places.
What is it that you hope for?
Where have you been invited to wait and trust?
Have you felt that your cause or circumstance has been disregarded by the Lord?
How has this experience affected your capacity to hold on to hope and trust the Lord?
Where have you grown tired or weary?
The passage from Isaiah speaks of the Lord’s endurance and His capacity to strengthen those who trust him. What would you need from Him to renew your strength and ability to actively wait in this season?
Take a moment to reflect on your experience of Him and His provision in this season. Are there any ways you are able to notice where He has already been at work in the waiting?
What has your experience of waiting given birth to in your life of faith?
If you are currently in a season of waiting, what would it look like to have confidence in God while you wait? Would that be different from your current posture?
What do you imagine an experience of the goodness of the Lord would look like here?
Are you willing to trust God for this? If not, why not?
Ending Your Time – Take a few moments and write out the cry of your heart to God from this place of waiting. Share with Him what your desires, and what you need from Him. If possible, declare your willingness to place your confidence in Him. Close your times by setting in silence for a few moments. Allow the love and strength of the God of endurance to wash over you.