[Before I get started, quick caveat. I’m blogging from my iPad app. Blame any poorly chosen autocorrect words on Steve Jobs.]
This Monday, we’re praying and fasting for God to move, for men to walk boldly into relationships, for women to be tender to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and for God to bring marriage to those who desire it.
Happy Advent. I hope that this time of year finds you reflective, and yet joyful. We have a lot to mourn in our current world. Pain. Loneliness. Death. But, we also are in a unique time of waiting, with eyes that have not seen, for the return of our King Jesus.
In and around my personal and cliche “holiday singleness angst,” I am filled with joy because for four weeks a year– waiting, living in the “now and not yet” tension is celebrated. I know waiting for a husband and waiting for Christ’s return are ultimately different. But, my hope for us this season is that we would let our learned patience (via this experiment known as FastPray) inform how we celebrate advent.
Imagine with me for a second that you’ve never had to wait for anything… ever.
You wanted a parking spot at the crowded mall. Done.
You wanted a new job. Done.
You wanted to get married. Done.
You wanted kids. Done.
Everything you asked for, right on schedule. No sleepless nights. No worries. Perfection.
If that were all true, would you even be able to fathom the magnitude of what it means to wait for Christ’s coming?
The short answer is no. You couldn’t. And so, in Christ’s mercy, we wait. We wait and wait. We wait in line. We wait to be married. We wait for families. We wait to be free of sin. And, waiting is painful.
Thankfully, the pain isn’t wasted. God sees our unmet expectations and long delays, and instead of judging us for our lack of patience, He sees our waiting as a sweet offering. In return, He invites us to participate in His story as prophets and priests.
Connally blogged about this a while back.
Single women who long for marital love play this important prophetic role of waiting. Our celibate waiting “mirrors the waiting that belongs to all [people] as we wait for the culmination of the age,” the marriage between Christ and the church, the union between the new heavens and the new earth.
While you wait and pray, you may feel tired, weary and discouraged. Be at peace, God has promised rest.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Come, Thou, long-expected Jesus.