In the waiting: slow down

In the waiting: slow down - advent devotionak

My youngest daughter decided she was going to read the bible. We suggested she start with the new testament, and after a short while reading she exclaimed, “there’s a lot of babies in this story.”

She had been reading the gospel of Matthew which lists the lineage of Jesus. Starting from Abraham, through David, to his father Joseph.  As the passage itself says, there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, and 14 generations from David to the Babylonian exile, and then 14 more generations from the exile until Jesus. As my daughter said, “That’s a lot of babies!” There is very long time between the promise of the Messiah and the arrival of him.

The Jewish people had been waiting for the messiah for hundreds of years. It was a slow process.

On this first Sunday of advent bring to mind the thing you are waiting on. How is the waiting making you feel? What is the emotion that sits in your chest when you think of it?

In waiting, we can get impatient, and wonder why the promise has not yet arrived. If we let this grow, or feed it this impatience can lead to a sense of bitterness.

Instead we are asked to slow down. The words of the Take Courage, the Bethel song which inspired this series say:

Slow down take time, breathe in, he said, he’d reveal what’s to come.

Slowing down is not easy, but it is important.

When my daughters’ get uptight and anxious about something, such as their upcoming dance concert, the first thing I say to them is “slow down, breathe.”

I cannot hurry the event. It will come to pass at just the right time. I need to help them manage their emotions in the waiting, and trust that all will come to pass as it should.

Slowing down is an acknowledgment that we are not in control of events, and a releasing of these things in the hands of a Father who is eminently more qualified than us to be in control. We need to release not just our promise, but also the emotions around that promise to our Father. He is able to hold it all.

Reflective Prayer:

Father I bring to you
once more
my waiting.

Help me not to
rush the process.
Help me to slow down
and breathe,
Help me to be okay with the
uncomfortable emotion.

Father,
help me to
understand that
you are in control,
that your timing is perfect

Help me to trust
you
in the waiting

Amen.

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