Friday, December 5, 2008

Waiting Expectantly

Friday December 5, 2008

We got news this week 7 families have passed court in Ethiopia and will travel before Christmas and will spend Christmas with thier children! How awesome is that. We are praying for referrals for this month, courts are back open and families are travelling, let the referrals roll in. It might sound strange that I am so excited for people that we don't even know passing court and getting referrals. We get excited because children are getting to go to their forever families and feel loved and cared for (plus it moves us up in line to get our wonderful baby boy). It is so funny how you can love someone so much already and you don't know anything about them! But we do!

Anyway, someone posted this article on the yahoo group we belong to and I thought it was a great article and thought I would post it on our blog for all of you to read! Enjoy, keep praying for those referrals and successful court dates, our turn will come before we know it!

Waiting Expectantly
Margaret Manning

Waiting is never easy. In our day of high speed internet, instant messaging, and fast food, waiting for anything seems like an eternity. I remember the days as a child, when the season turned the corner towards Christmas day, how difficult it was for me and my siblings to wait to open our presents. We had such a hard time waiting that we would often coax our parents into allowing us to open some, or all of our presents on Christmas Eve. We couldn't wait any longer, and our parents couldn't abide another day of our whining and begging.

The season of Advent begins a season of waiting. It marks the beginning of the liturgical church year and asks us to wait expectantly for the coming of Christ, the King. Each new Advent season stirs our expectations as we wait. Will we see the return of the Lord in this Advent season? But, it also leads us to a time of
reflection concerning how we wait because waiting, by its very nature, is demanding and difficult for all of us. Like children clamoring to open their presents early because they cannot wait any longer, we often wait impatiently, rather than with expectant hope.

Waiting for God is difficult enough; but, waiting in the wilderness can make the most staid soul waver. The whole history of Israel is a history of waiting, waiting in the wilderness to enter the Promised Land, waiting for a king, waiting in exile for return to the land of Israel, and waiting for God to deliver them from all their
oppressors. The psalmists cry is their cry, and our cry: "How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?" (Psalm 89:46)

Imagine, then, how their hearts stirred with expectation when a glimmer of promise arose. We can feel the hope rise as the prophet Isaiah cries out: "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low...Then the glory
of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together" (Isaiah 40:3-5). Yet, generations came and went and the years ebbed and flowed with no sign of the promised one. Israel went into exile, and the voice of the prophets became silent. Would there be a way in the wilderness, and a smooth path cut through the desert? Or would God leave his people as exiles in the wastelands?

For over two-thousand years, we have seen Advent season come and go, each year igniting our hopes and expectations for Christ's return. Unfortunately, as happens to so many, we lose hope and heart in waiting. We grow tired and weary, and we, like the false prophets of old ask, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:4). Our temptation in the exile of waiting is to lose hope, to grow weary and faint. Our temptation is to give up rather than hold on. Rather than fill us with expectation, waiting can dull our hope and desiccate our yearning for God. Yet the Advent season calls us back to watch and to wait in anxious expectation for the return of our Lord.

Indeed, those who wait upon the Lord "shall gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary" (Isaiah 40:31). May our Advent waiting fill us with hope, renew us with strength, and raise us up with hope in our coming King.

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