Advent is a time of expectant waiting. We wait for the coming of the Savior, the birth of Jesus. We expect that when the Savior comes – and He will come – He will lead us in the way we should go. The prophet Isaiah reminds us, “Thus says the Lord, Your Redeemer: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go.” (i) Yes, we who follow Jesus can expect Him to lead us; but first, Advent reminds us, we have to wait. We have to wait for the Savior. We have to wait before He can lead us in the way we should go.
A lot of us don’t like to wait. Waiting tries our patience, and tests our faith. Waiting keeps us from doing the things we really want to be doing. Waiting keeps us from getting on with our lives, and from becoming the people we are sure God wants us to be. So we want God to lead us. Now. We want to know God’s plans and ambitions for our lives. Now. We want to know how the story ends, what the right decision to make is, and what exactly God would have us do. Now.
But we have to wait, and that means living without all the answers. Waiting means there will be times – it’s been true in my life, and maybe you’ve had the experience, too – when we want to follow Jesus, but we won’t know what to do. Waiting means there will be times when we want to follow Jesus, but we won’t know where to turn, or in which direction we ought to head. Waiting means not being too hasty or eager to move ahead, or figure it out.
Waiting is about standing still. It’s about being where we are, where our feet are. That is where God is and that where God wants us to be: where our feet are. Waiting, waiting for the Savior, so He can lead us in the way we should go. Waiting is above all a time to prepare: a time to prepare the way of the Lord. It is a time to look at our feet, to see where we are, and to be present there. It is a time to examine our lives: to ask ourselves what we want, what we hope for, what we may need to let go of, and to take it to God in prayer. Waiting is God’s invitation to go deeper, to deepen our relationship with Him, so we learn to trust Him. Because when the time is right – and God is always on time – the Savior will come, and He will lead us in the way we should go. But first we have to wait.
i Isaiah 48:17
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