Advent Waiting: Waiting in God’s Grace

Advent WaitinginGod'sGrace

Advent is a season of waiting. We remember the world’s long wait for a Savior and we anticipate Jesus’ second return.

Often we focus more on the remembering part. Advent means setting up manger scenes, sending out Christmas cards with pictures of Baby Jesus, and singing carols about Christ’s birth. But let’s not forget to prepare for Jesus’ second coming.

The Story of the Ten Bridesmaids

Jesus told a story to encourage His disciples to be prepared and ready for His return.

The characters in the story are ten bridesmaids who are waiting for the bridegroom to take them to the wedding feast. It’s evening and they all have brought lamps to light their procession through the dark city streets. The bridegroom is delayed. All ten of the bridesmaids get drowsy and fall asleep. In the middle of the night, the bridegroom finally comes. His delay was so long that all of their lamps have gone out.

Five of the bridesmaids are prepared for this problem. They have brought extra oil. In a moment, their lamps are relit. The other bridesmaids are forced to go to the oil sellers and cannot go with the bridegroom. Later, when they arrive at the feast, they are not allowed in. (Matthew 25:1-13)

Through the story, Jesus reminds us all that we need to rely on the oil of His grace as we wait for His return.

Advent WaitingInGod'sGracePIN

Waiting is Not a Waste of Time

When I put myself in the story, I think my reaction as one of the bridesmaids would have been, “What is taking this guy so long? Doesn’t he realize my time is important? I could be doing something significant. Instead, I’m just sitting here!”

But maybe, a wiser bridesmaid would have gently reminded me, “But waiting here is exactly what we are supposed to be doing. Waiting for the bridegroom is our role. It is an honor to be chosen as a member of the bridal party. When we get to the amazing feast the Bridegroom is preparing, we won’t even remember the agony of the wait. The love of the Bridegroom is worth waiting for.”

If you are in a waiting season–waiting for healing, waiting for a solution to a problem, waiting for an answer to prayer–remember that even when waiting seems like a waste of time, waiting is often our role as God’s chosen people. During that delay, the Holy Spirit teaches us patience, hope, and trust. 

When waiting seems like a waste of time, remember that during the delay, the Holy Spirit teaches us patience,… Click To Tweet

So while you are waiting–waiting for help, healing, and Christ’s return–wait in the strength of God’s grace. Don’t let your lamp go out. Find a fresh supply of the oil that fuels your faith in the means of grace: God’s Word and the Lord’s Supper.

Next step: Find encouragement in the words of Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Post those words somewhere you’ll notice them often today and when you read them, remember that waiting is the privilege of the chosen bridesmaid! 

If you would like to learn more about waiting well, check out my new book: Waiting: A Bible Study on Patience, Hope, and Trust.

Waiting Cover002 - Copy (2)The book studies the lives of:

  • Sarah
  • Hannah
  • The Widow of Zarapheth
  • Esther
  • Anna
  • The Woman with a 12-year Hemorrhage
  • Martha
  • Ten Virgins

Through their examples, we find hope for the delays in our lives. We learn how to wait well.

Find the book on Amazon or

Advent Waiting: Waiting Without Preconceptions

Advent WaitingwithoutPreconceptions

Advent is a season of waiting. A time of anticipation. A period of preparation. For many in our culture, the preparation for Christmas is limited to planning get-togethers and buying gifts. Children anticipate opening those gifts. Everyone is waiting for holiday programs, plays, and parties. But for believers in Christ, Advent also means waiting for […]

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3 Ways Abiding in Christ Can Change Your Life: Remaining

3 WaysAbiding in ChristCan Change Your LifeRemaining

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Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 106:1 Sometimes it’s easy to say those words. Sometimes it’s easy to be thankful. Life is good. Everyone is healthy. There is enough money in the bank account to pay the bills But sometimes it isn’t so easy […]

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3 Ways Abiding in Christ Can Change You: Keeping

3 WaysAbiding in ChristCan Change Your LifeKeeping

I have three grandsons. They are all born to the same parents and they all live in the same household. Yet they each have a distinct personality. One of the ways they differ is in their “cuddle factor.” One grandson prefers to be loved from afar. You need to grab a hug and then let […]

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3 Ways Abiding in Christ Can Change Your Life: Connecting

Copy of abide

Abide. Every year I choose one word to focus on. One word to guide the next twelve months. At the beginning of 2017, I chose “abide.” I hoped that studying and meditating on that word would help me understand it better. I kept asking, “What does that word mean, exactly?” “How do I abide?” “How does […]

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Why the Reformation Matters


500 years ago today Martin Luther nailed 95 Thesis to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. And we might be thinking, “So what?”  Luther himself probably did not realize the importance of this simple act. The church door in a German town was like a public bulletin board. Along with Luther’s document outlining the corruption […]

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4 Keys to Finding Enough: Go to the God of Suffiency

God makes us capable of longing so that we come to Him to fill those longings.

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4 Keys to Finding Enough: Reject the Myth That More Stuff Equals More Happiness

too often we believeamore stuff = more happiness

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4 Keys to Finding Enough: Watch Out for Satan’s Lies

Satan works overtime to spoil our appetites and too often we fall for his lies.

Why is contentment so difficult to attain? Why do we always want more? This post is part of a series on finding enough. When I was a kid, my dad had a habit of pushing back from the table after a delicious and enormous feast and saying, “I spoiled my appetite.” Of course, he spoiled […]

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