waiting: the holy work of Advent and beyond

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.” ― Elisabeth Elliot

Waiting 

 sunlight weakens
 colour fades as mists descend
 December's here
 wrapping us in thick fogginess
 hunker down, it's nearly Christmas

 days slide by
 in a rush toward the night
 our souls moan and sigh
 darkness outside increases
 the onward march is ceaseless

 we become hungry
 for hope, for warmth, for light
 a safe place to abide
 while our souls grow accustomed
 to the season we are in

 clothed with silhouettes
 the trees stand sentinel-bare
 like bereft soldiers
 guarding the fort of their thoughts
 waiting for spring's reward

 maybe you and I
 can keep the vigil with them
 our hearts tuned to spring
 as wintry winds whistle hard
 let's remain patient and calm
 © joylenton

“This is the most precious answer God can give us: wait. It makes us cling to him rather than to an outcome. God knows what I need; I do not. He sees the future; I cannot. His perspective is eternal; mine is not. He will give me what is best for me when it is best for me.” ― Vaneetha Rendall Risner, The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering

Friends, you’ve been waiting several weeks to see when I might return to writing in this space. Thank you for your patience! I’m so glad to be back. We seem to spend much of our lives waiting for this and that, don’t we? The season of Advent highlights how to wait with intention, with purpose, with hope and expectation in our hearts.

May we begin it with such anticipation. And may we aim to listen harder for God’s soft footsteps in our hearts. He longs to draw near to us and whisper His wisdom to our receptive souls but so often we become weary in the waiting and slow to respond. Let’s ask God to increase our ability to stay, to be open, to wait, and to receive. Because Jesus, our Light-bringer is well worth waiting for.

7 thoughts on “waiting: the holy work of Advent and beyond

  1. “clothed with silhouettes
    the trees stand sentinel-bare
    like bereft soldiers
    guarding the fort of their thoughts
    waiting for spring’s reward

    maybe you and I
    can keep the vigil with them
    our hearts tuned to spring” I love the imagery in these words. I think the whole world is waiting for answers, for relief and hanging on to hope. (I’m glad you’re back).

    • Thanks, Shirley, for the poetic love and for welcoming me back here. Both are greatly appreciated! And I agree with you that “the whole world is waiting for answers, for relief and hanging on to hope.” Spring can’t come soon enough for us to climb out of this COVID cave and taste life to the full again. We’ve just lifted our second lockdown with extra measures and a tier system in place. But it’s going to be a Christmas unlike any other for many people. How are things for you? I’m not always up to date with international news. Blessings of peace to you, my friend. x ❤️

      • We’re hurting in my state. We were surrounded by states that didn’t have mask mandates until recently. We’re now one of the nations hot spots. Hospitals are in danger of running out of room. (Which is better than the states that have run out.) A lot is closed down. We haven’t been able to worship in the church since March. Schools are closed with all distance learning again. Every state of the 50 has their own set of rules or restrictions, which has complicated our response to Covid. Our president still claims he won the election and is trying to usurp the results through the courts. Meanwhile, he has a cult like following, most of whom won’t wear a mask. Because not wearing one is a political statement in support of the president. And on it goes. The president has checked out as far as leading the country through this. So we wait for Jan 20th and some sanity to return to Washington, and a nationwide response to the pandemic. But, we also wait in hope that the vaccines will be coming soon. It will be a strange Christmas this year. Blessings to you Joy. May your Advent waiting time be filled with promise.

      • Oh, Shirley, this is heartbreaking news. But I am grateful to receive such an open and honest account of how your state is situated, even it is a painful read. It must be so hard to have to live in such a challenging climate where many deny the necessity for precautionary measures and fail to acknowledge the evidence before their eyes. Now I can pray for you with a better informed mind. Oh yes, may sanity and sense return to help keep your state and country safe. It’s very unsettling and upsetting indeed to have so many sick and dying from the coronavirus, and for normal life to be put on hold for months at a time. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. May God bring hope into what seems hopeless, and shine the light of his presence into the darkness. Blessings of peace to you as you wait for relief, recovery, and restoration to come. xo 🙏🏻🕊❤️

  2. Dear Joy,
    Yes, I am so glad to see your words here again! And this stanza in your poem tugged so deeply at my heart. I see that I am the not the only one to highlight it. 🙂

    “clothed with silhouettes
    the trees stand sentinel-bare
    like bereft soldiers
    guarding the fort of their thoughts
    waiting for spring’s reward”

    Especially, “guarding the fort of their thoughts” caused me to stop and ask God what He was stirring in me there. It is so easy to see the fogginess and barrenness as a detriment in this journey. But what if God is using this very place as a guard for my own thoughts? Oh, may I let Him continue to show me more about HIS safety and His pleasant boundary lines. Thank you again for stirring my heart so deeply to look up to Him. May you be blessed in this waiting season, dear friend. Hugs and love to you! xoxo

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