Psalm 40 is not typically what you think of when you think of Scripture that references Christmas or the Advent season. But God placed these verses in my path last week and they have ministered so much grace to my soul!
Advent--the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.
The beginning of the Christian church calendar year, advent is the season (including four Sundays) leading up to the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ--Christmas.
In my mind Advent is a season of waiting. Waiting on the arrival of a very notable person--Jesus.
While he has already come, taking time out each year to wait for the celebration of his birth is important. The anticipation. The inward longing.
As a child I waited to open gifts. That was the "notable event"!
As an adult, I'm seeing more and more the joy in simply savoring Jesus--THE Gift.
This Advent season has held highs and lows, ups and downs. Many are the moments I have longed to just hear Holy Spirit or see Him move in situations that I cannot control. I have prayed and begged to see Him. To hear Him. To deeply feel and know His love. This has been a very different Advent season. It hasn't held the same things that the last several years have held. We have experienced a lot of physical sickness and much soul grief. Yet there is joy. There is joy in the promise that Jesus is coming. Joy in knowing that He goes before us and makes our steps secure. Joy in believing that He alone is our rock.
"I waited patiently for the Lord..."
I can't guarantee that I have or am waiting patiently! That's the hard part!
"He set my feet upon a rock making my steps secure"
How many times this season I have thought about the Jewish people. The ones who didn't hear God for 400 years. The ones who wondered where He was! The ones who longed to hear His voice or see His good works.
And there my heart resonates...and is convicted.
I feel that longing that I'm certain the Israelites felt. The thing is, they felt it for MUCH longer! 400 years is an immensely long season of waiting. The last few months have felt like an eternity for me, but I simply cannot imagine 400 years. No wonder hearts grew faint in the waiting for the Christ. No wonder there were doubters. I understand in a deeper way the doubts and fears in the waiting for the Rescuer!
From this side of the manger, it should be easier to wait well. We have seen the life of Christ through the account of the Gospels and we have Holy Spirit with us continually. The Jewish people had neither of those things to rest on. But they clung to promises...promises like Psalm 40. They clung to stories of God's provision, protection, and faithfulness as told to them by their grandparents....great grandparents.
Yet we are still humans with tendencies to doubt what we cannot see. Waiting requires great faith. Great trust in what we cannot fully see at the moment.
All He asks is for us to wait on Him and He will do the rest.
May we each experience the groaning and agony of the silent waiting season because only then can we experience the full joy of arrival of Jesus--the seeing, the hearing, the knowing...the end of the waiting.
Our Rescuer has come.
He breaks the silence.
He shines light in darkness.
He has won the war against humanity.
The waiting may seem dark and silent...but the hope is that the Light is coming for you and for me.