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.

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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 CPH.org