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 His coming. It is a season of remembering the long wait of the world for the coming of a Savior and a time of anticipating His second return.

In Scripture, we read many stories of waiting. Sarah, Hannah, and Rachel were among the women who experienced long periods of delay before they were blessed with babies. Joseph waited years in a lonely prison. The Children of Israel waiting 400 years to be released from Egyptian slavery.

Anna’s Waiting Story

In the New Testament, we read another story of waiting. Anna was waiting for the Savior:

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38)

This dedicated woman of God only gets three verses in the Bible, but her story gives us so much wisdom for our seasons of waiting.

Advent WaitingwithoutPreconceptionsPIN

Even though Anna was “advanced in years” she was one of only two people who recognized that the infant son of two Galilean peasants was the Messiah. During Anna’s lifetime, most of the nation of Israel was waiting for a savior, but they were expecting one that would save them from the tyranny of Rome. A powerful political leader. Not a helpless baby.

Perhaps Anna recognized the infant as the Son of God because she didn’t have preconceived expectations. Instead, she was open to God’s ideas. She didn’t insist on her own vision or plan. She knew God often works in mysterious ways.

Waiting Without Expectations

God invites me to be like Anna when I’m in a waiting season. To let go of my own expectations. To stop insisting on my own way. 

When I let go of my preconceived, self-made plans that I am more able to recognize God design for my life. It’s then I’m able to wait with a bit more patience because I realize that the delay might be part of the plan.

Anna was waiting for the Savior. You, also, may be waiting for rescue. Rescue from a desperate financial situation or from an impossible-looking health crisis.

One thing you can do in this waiting period is to let go of your expectations and preconceived ideas about how God should answer your prayers. Reaffirm your trust in a loving Father who always knows best.

Let go of your preconceived ideas about how God should answer your prayers. Reaffirm trust in His plans. Click To Tweet

Next step: Write a prayer, giving God all of your self-made plans and preconceived ideas about what is best. Tell Him you trust His wisdom and His goodness. 

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

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