It is the first Sunday in Advent and having been raised in a Lutheran church and being married to a Lutheran pastor for over 44 years, Advent has been an important part of the Christmas season for me as long as I can remember. Advent....a time of waiting in anticipation for the coming of our Savior.
When our children were at home we focused on Advent every night, lighting candles, opening the individual "doors" on an Advent calendar, reading our advent devotionals, and singing Christmas hymns and praying. Our nest has been empty a long time now, but Joel and I still open the doors of an Advent calendar~~an online one sent from Jacque Larson's site by our friends Marie and Lyn , and we have daily devotions bringing Advent into that time with God. It returns our focus to the reason why we celebrate Christmas. A tiny baby in a manger.
Advent is a time of waiting and preparation, but I admit I have felt like this whole year has been a time of waiting. Ever since we started on this healing journey with Joel, I have been waiting for my full healing to come to pass. All my striving has not brought me to wholeness, but it has brought me to a place of rest because God has been telling me the past few months to rest in Him...rest in His love. Waiting...trusting.....letting go of the notion that my healing will be accomplished by my own effort.
So this year for Advent I am doing a study on resting in God's love as I continue to draw closer to the Healer and take my focus off of healing. I started my adventure last week when I watched a video at Wommack's ministries on resting in God's love, and today I decided that, like my friend Kim, I was going to combine my study on God's love with Advent. The Bible has quite a bit to say on God's love and on resting, and they often cross paths. Today He already began to bless my journey.
I usually watch Rick Warren on Sunday mornings since I am still unable to attend church. I could not get the online service feed to work for me so began searching for something else to watch. By accident(?) I came across a Heidi Baker video on Lavish Grace. The first time I ever watched Heidi Baker I was completely freaked out. She was way out of my comfort zone, but I have come to realize that she is the real deal, even when her actions seem over the top. I have never been one of the "frozen chosen" as I have heard Lutherans so biasly described, but I have not been a Heidi Baker either. Somewhere in-between. In fact, 2 yrs ago when I read her book "Always Enough" I could not finish it. I tucked it behind some other books on a shelf and just recently I found myself searching for it She certainly is a mighty servant of God with a heart for Jesus. That is evident in the 10,000 churches she and her husband have planted in Mozambique.
Today she talked about having a father-daughter relationship with God. When we say yes to God we are no longer orphan spirits, but daughters and sons of God. She talked about how much He loves us, and how we can rest in that love.
Which brings it right back to being a matter of the heart. A matter of trust. Resting is a matter of trust and so is waiting. Whether we are waiting for a healing to manifest, a relationship to heal, or a baby in a tiny manger. It is a matter of trusting God.
And I would challenge you in your waiting............do you think God is waiting for us too? Waiting for us to come to Him, lay down our burdens and take on His yoke? Accept His plan for our lives? Is He waiting for us to trust Him? To climb up on His lap as His child and say, I love you Father/Abba/Daddy. To rest in His arms knowing that He loves and delights in us, His daughters and sons. Advent..........centered on love and a time of waiting......our waiting and God's.
"The Lord your God is with you
The mighty One will save
He will rejoice over you
You will rest in His love
he will sing and be joyful about you."