By Maria Robertson
It seems like I do a lot of waiting these days. I patiently wait for my coffee to brew in the morning, I wait expectantly for my paycheck and I longingly wait for each semester of grad school to pass.
One thing is for certain, I do not think that it is a coincidence that I waited to start writing this post on the first day of Advent.
Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. What a great reminder to reflect on how Jesus brings us hope in times of waiting and uncertainty.
One of those times of waiting occurred two years ago after I graduated college and could NOT wait to begin the next season of my life. I had high expectations for what would come next. I spent so much time planning and preparing for where I would go and what I would do after I received that diploma; half a year to be exact. I knew I wanted to travel, “do” ministry, and in some sense of the word, “find” my calling and purpose.
God eventually said “yes” to those plans but it did not turn out how I had imagined it.
Unlike many of my peers, I did not plan to go to school to study theology or to provide pastoral care. I prepared to travel far away and start fresh. I would have possibly realized what God was calling me to do sooner if I had practiced patience and waiting instead of rushing my own plans.
Looking back, I can see how God granted me grace through that season and used every situation, good and bad, to prepare me for a time as this.
For Christians, this season anticipates the coming of Christ from three different perspectives: in the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily and in glory at the end of time.
I heard a preacher once say that we are always in a season of waiting and anticipation for Jesus’ renewal and return. James 5:7-8 says, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” To see Jesus in our moments of suffering and uncertainty we must remain patient and stand firm on God’s promises.
Venturing into this call to ministry is uncertain and difficult at times and it requires my daily focus on Christ; seeking guidance and asking for a renewed spirit. With that as my focus, I can now wait patiently, expectantly, and longingly for something more than just a pot of coffee and a few final exams. I can now work intentionally and actually be excited about what God has in store for my future in ministry and for God’s kingdom.
May we wait patiently, expectantly and intentionally during this Advent season. May we not rush through our daily tasks and neglect to see God in those moments. May our hope in the Lord renew our strength and may this journey be worthwhile and more than we could ever imagine. Amen.
Maria Robertson is a CBF Leadership Scholar pursuing an M.Div. with a focus in Pastoral Care at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta, Ga. She currently works as a nanny and as a camp counselor for the after-school program at First Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga.