Expecting Advent

Advent-poinsettaLast week I said my word for this holiday season is dependent.  Which means; relying on someone or something else for aid or support; subordinate [dictionary.reference.com].

Raise your hand if you like being in a dependent position or subordinate to someone. No? It’s not our favorite place to be, is it? Relying on someone for aid or support.

If we’re honest we realize our human nature makes us dependent regularly. Perhaps that’s part of the reason Jesus collects his followers into the family groups of local churches. We need one another and he knows it. Ultimately, we need God himself most of all. We depend on him for our very breath. For truth, for daily bread, for forgiveness, for knowledge, for fellowship, for strength, for hope, and for a secure future.

For years the Jews waited with expectation for a Savior. Meaning they anticipated an event with justifiable reason. We know he’s come in the person of Jesus and he’s become our Savior too. Now we wait with expectation for his return.

So much of our lives are lived in expectation or hope. But hope is impossible without trust. What reason would there be to hope for promises to be fulfilled if the promise-giver was untrustworthy?

At the moment our family is waiting for our house to sell. My whole life feels paused while I wait. But, I wait with expectation because God has been faithful in the past. While my family uses borrowed beds and shared Christmas decorations, we rest in knowing God always provides and he never forgets his own.

My flesh doesn’t like being dependent. But my heart is learning to recognize a better way. God’s economy isn’t my own. He doesn’t waste opportunities to deepen our character. And dependence on him is a great teacher.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5

I think we struggle with dependence because it exposes our weaknesses. You may find yourself this Advent season in a position of dependence. Instead of hiding from your need embrace it as an opportunity to know the heart of God better. He will not disappoint if we allow him to reshape our expectations. Invite him in, he himself is the answer we’re looking for.

On humble knees is always the best place to receive promises.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14

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