Thursday, December 23, 2021

Readings:
Luke 1:46b-55
Micah 4:6-8
2 Peter 1:16-21

Delivering More

Have you ever been in a lengthy season of “waiting?” I don’t mean waiting for your food in a Chick-Fil-A line, or even waiting for your turn at the DMV. I mean a prolonged season of waiting for something that you’re wanting, or even needing: waiting to graduate from all the extended years of schooling & become an adult; waiting for Your Person to show up & spend Happily Ever After together; waiting for the phone call “You’re hired” from all the interviews you’ve been on; waiting to hear an “I’m sorry” from that difficult family member who wounded you; waiting on a clear diagnosis from the doctor. I’m not sure if there is anyone who actually enjoys the waiting period, and few of us who can find goodness or peace in the middle of it. It is challenging to be left in the dark - we aren’t in control. We are surrounded by the unknown & can feel quite alone, bewildered & hurt. We can wonder, God, where are you?

The early New Testament Jews were no different than us and in fact, were quite familiar with long suffering waiting & being left in the dark. At least four hundred years passed between the time God spoke through the prophet, Malachi, and the Christmas story. Generation after generation endured silence & darkness, waiting to hear from God, waiting for some direction & clarity, maybe even an explanation. 

Have you felt like God has been quiet or distanced in your own life? Have you been waiting for God to show up in the dark seasons of your life? The bewilderment & pain comes when our knowledge & expectation of Him doesn’t match up with our experience of Him.  

The Jewish nation knew God as Communicator, so they faithfully waited expectantly on a Prophet for the next stage of life. But He didn’t show up & they were left in deafening darkness instead. God’s people knew God as King, so they faithfully waited expectantly on a Powerful Ruler to fight & vindicate them against enemies & governments who oppressed them. But the King stayed away and sent a baby instead. 

What parts of God’s Character are you expecting but not experiencing in your particular circumstances/trials/suffering? Is it possible He is withholding expressions of Himself for the purpose of revealing Even More of Himself in other ways? 

God’s people wanted a Prophet, but He wanted to give them a Personal Intercessor. The Jews wanted a Ruler, but He wanted to give them a Savior.  

It may be that He wants to give you More, like when He stopped giving His words through a Prophet, so He could give His Word through His Son. It may be that He wants you to choose Him not just for His Power, but for His Presence, even in the most unlikely of places, among the most lowly of creatures, in the most humble states of vulnerability.   

The Jews had to wait 400 years before they got a Word from God. THE Word from God, the culmination & completion of all words!

Sometimes there are prolonged seasons of silence & waiting & darkness because what God wants to say to you next is SO important, He needs you to HEAR it. Sometimes where God wants to take you next is SO important, He needs you to RECOGNIZE it. He does not want you to miss it. And the silence, the waiting, the darkness prepares you for His Word & His Light. 

There was purpose in the waiting & darkened season of God’s people. He hadn’t forgotten them, He hadn’t abandoned them. He was preparing them for Even More of Himself. But only a few wise men recognized His Light.  

Ask Him who He wants to Be in your life right now. Note, not what He wants to DO yet, but simply who He wants to BE for you. Maybe He wants to shed some Light in your own life & Be someone even greater to you in this Advent season. 

Elle Arters
Huntersville UMC
14005 Stumptown Rd.
Huntersville, NC 28078
(704) 875-1156
3910 North Highway 16
Denver, NC 28037