Advent Devotional: Nov. 29, 2022

Patiently Waiting
by Allison Floyd

Psalm 46:10
He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.’

I am not patient when I have to wait, particularly if I don’t know how long the waiting is going to last. The waiting room of a doctor’s office or veterinary practice gets the worst version of me: A fidgety, angry person who can’t relax or accept that 20 minutes of lost productivity isn’t ruining my day. I want to be able to do something to speed up the process or at least to get an estimate of how long the wait will last. 

That’s why this verse speaks to me so clearly. Can’t you see a parent patting a child’s hand and whispering, “Just be still, sweetheart. I’ve got everything under control”?

That’s the thing about waiting. Proper waiting means admitting that someone else is in control and trusting that they know what they are doing.  

Advent is a time of waiting for Jesus, a time to practice faithful anticipation of the future, but without anxiety. 

I’ve done a lot of uncomfortable waiting lately. There was a global pandemic, of course. Remember that quaint time when we all thought flattening the curve meant six weeks of disruption before our lives returned to normal?

Other personal situations have also taxed my patience in the past couple of years. As challenges popped up, I have been impatient to get to the future. I have fought to control outcomes by developing action plans and to-do lists that promised to bring me the result I want. I have fretted when my plans for six weeks and six months and six years didn’t happen on the schedule I devised.

And time and again, God has reminded me that I need to wait … that I will have my daily bread, but can’t bargain or plan or work my way to a certain future delivered on a schedule that suits me. 

“Be still,” God says, “and know that I am God.”

Prayer: God, thank you for the passion that burns inside me to make the world a better place. At the same time, help me to know the difference between complacency and patience. Show me avenues to work for your Kindom, but when I take off on my own and grow impatient with the pace of change, gently remind me that you are in control. Be with me whenever I am waiting.