Create by: Hungsu Lim December 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm
[Advent Devotion] Day 13 “God With Us” in Our Waiting
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
Waiting is difficult. Early in our marriage, my wife and I became friends with a couple who had a strong desire to become parents but were struggling to conceive. We were in our late twenties, and they were in their early thirties. They had been married just a few years longer than we had. They told us how they watched as, one by one, their family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances all had children. While they shared in the joy of those embarking on parenthood, witnessing others having the opportunity to become parents re-exposed their wound of not being able to conceive. They, too, were intentionally trying to conceive. They were faithful in prayer. They were faithful to their church.
Days turned into months, and months turned into a couple of years. They waited and prayed. They visited doctors, ran tests, prayed some more, and asked others to pray. Still nothing. A couple of years turned into nine long years. It seemed like every time they picked up the paper or saw the news, they would see stories about parents who abused their children or who appeared to be ill-equipped for the job of parenting. They dutifully attended the birthday parties of their friends’ children year after year, because they wanted to be present and supportive. But the reality was that it incited their longing and picked at their fears and hurts. Both of them began to have seeds of bitterness toward God and their friends, even though they resisted those feelings. They viewed their prayers as fruitless, not just because they weren’t getting what they desired but because it felt as though God was absent. There was dryness and distance in their relationship with Jesus. But they kept waiting—privately and in community.
For our friends, it became more and more difficult to trust in God, especially as time marched on and they experienced disconnection in their relationship with God. Both remained faithful. But living today’s Scripture, Psalm 46:10, is easier said than done.
Most of us have experienced disconnection with God at one time or another in our lives. Perhaps you were waiting for an important shift to occur and God seemed to go radio silent. Or perhaps you were waiting for a relationship to change, a loved one to be healed, someone to surrender an addiction, a loved one to get better, or a child to be conceived. If none of these descriptions fits you, you probably will have the opportunity to wait at a later time.
Jesus is “God with us” in the waiting—no matter what we are waiting for. Jesus is with us in our perceived connection and disconnection—in silence and in noise.
Cultivating stillness can help us have the right spirit as we wait. One avenue is to cultivate interior stillness through a practice of silence. Prayer without words cultivates relationship with Jesus. Using methods such as centering prayer or the Jesus prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”) deepens our relationship with Christ.
Stillness is one faithful way to wait upon God. So today, be still and know.
PRAYER: God, I lift you the prayers of my heart. Help me to be aware of the ways in which you are waiting with me, my family, my community, and the world. Help me to be present to the people in my life who are waiting and need someone to wait with them; in Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
(from “SENT: Devotion” Week 3 – Jesus is God with Us by Justin LaRosa)
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