Working While You Wait
Third Sunday of Advent
SUNDAY, December 11
One of the most frustrating things to do sometimes is to wait. Waiting on something you want, waiting on something God promised. To be honest, at times we get tired of waiting.
However, waiting is a part of maturing in Christ; our time in the wilderness is when God perfects us and prepares us for the work he has for us.
“Be patient, therefore, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains” (v. 7). I believe our frustration is not in the waiting but in how we wait. The farmer does not simply wait for the rain; he plows his field and tills the land so that he will be ready when the rain comes.
In the same way, we wait on Christ; we cannot make him come any faster, but while we wait, we do the work to advance God’s kingdom.
Lord, allow me to be a good steward of my gifts and use them to advance your cause while I await your return. Amen.
PRAYER FOCUS: JOY IN THE ADVENT SEASON
Come Too Far
MONDAY, December 12
Many times in life, we get discouraged on our journey. We battle the same doubts and negative thoughts day after day. We may feel like we have been suffering through the same things for so long.
Look back at the beginning of your journey, compared to where you are now. Are you not stronger in your faith? Are you not more equipped to overcome your daily trials than when you started? Know that your suffering has not been in vain; God sees our struggle and knows the trials have been difficult.
“Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’” (v. 4, NIV).
As runners in a marathon get fatigued, they may begin to question if they can finish the race. Then when they see the finish line, they get a second wind. They realize they have come too far and sacrificed too much to stop now.
Lord, encourage me to complete the work you have called me to, for I have come too far not to finish. Amen.
Your Healing Is Here
TUESDAY, December 13
A young man was turning 21; he told his father all he wanted was a new car. When the time came to receive his gift, his father gave him a Bible and said, “My son, I hope you find all you seek in this book.”
The son was angry, and he didn’t look inside the Bible until years later. When he opened the book, he found a set of keys and a note where to pick up his new car.
Today, we often ask for healing and deliverance from God, but we get caught up in how we expect God to work in our lives. God has promised to answer our prayers, but he does not say how it will be done. Look for God in the unexpected. You may find just what you have been looking for.
Lord, help me to be more in tune with your Spirit and will for my life. Amen.
PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WHO FACE THE HOLIDAYS ALONE
WEDNESDAY, December 14
One day, I was walking through a mall and saw a father attempting to hold his child’s hand. The child refused to take his hand, wanting to walk alone. I noticed the father allowed the child to walk but kept an eye on them. It did not take long for the child to walk some distance, and when they looked up, they didn’t see their father. The father, who never let the child out of his sight, came, and at the sight of the father, the child suddenly felt safe again.
God works with us the same way; we often don’t allow God to lead us; we feel we know the way ourselves. Today’s passage shows us that God is preparing a highway in the wilderness. This is a way God creates for God’s people. The Lord not only creates the way, but God is the way, and through Jesus we have a path to our God while Jesus walks the road with us hand in hand.
Lord, help me to accept your guidance for my life. Amen.
Faith Through Your Doubt
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15
In this life, we often run into doubt; we doubt our ability, our calling, and we doubt God’s ability to work through us. In today’s passage, we find John the Baptist, who Jesus names as the greatest born, doubting. In his moment of doubt, he asks the disciples if Jesus is the Messiah, or should he await another?
Not only did John doubt his ministry, but he also doubted Jesus’s ministry. Jesus answered John’s doubt by explaining how he was healing the blind, lame, and deaf. He was curing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the good news to the poor.
With all this scriptural evidence, it is obvious who God is, yet there are times we doubt our salvation and calling in Christ. If you find doubt creeping in, take time to look at Scripture once more. Then, be mindful of what God has already done in your life and in the lives of others.
Lord, there are times when doubt enters my mind; allow me to focus on you, and dissipate my doubt. Amen.
PRAYER FOCUS: SHELTER FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED HOUSING
Shutting Out the Noise
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16
It is hard to shut out the noise of this world. Alarms ringing, sirens blaring, horns honking, the sounds of life are all around us. Even online, we cannot leave a comment or share a thought without receiving multiple positive or negative replies.
In today’s passage, we find two blind men needing Jesus’s grace. When they call upon Jesus, the crowd attempts to quiet them. Let us be like those blind men who pushed passed the noise to receive what they needed from God. The Lord wants us to get past the harmful noise, carry our cross daily, and call upon the One who is able when we need help.
Lord, help me see myself as you see me and not as this world attempts to paint me. Help me to get past the noise to get to you. Amen.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
A man wanted nothing more than to go on a cruise. He only had enough money for his ticket, so he brought on board a suitcase full of cheese and crackers.
The man went on his cruise and enjoyed his time with his fellow passengers; every day at dinner he would retreat to his cabin. One day a passenger finally asked him, “Why do you always leave when it’s time to eat with the rest of the passengers?”
The man felt ashamed, put his head down, and said, “I only had enough money for my ticket and could not afford the meals.” The other passenger looked at him and said, “This is an all-inclusive cruise; the meals are included with your ticket.”
The man did not know all that the ticket he had purchased provided him. We are often like this man. Struggling through life, not understanding that God paid our price, and through our relationship we have access to the heavenly provisions that come with the price Jesus paid.
Lord, help me to humble myself and walk in your full provision daily. Amen.
PRAYER FOCUS: WORKERS IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY