Tag Archives: Advent

Is It Time Yet?

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. ~Joyce Meyer


Last spring I was looking for a job. The last of my homeschooled children was graduating high school, and it was time that I started helping my family financially. Or so I thought.

I really believe God has called me to write for him. Having a full-time “real” job would greatly prohibit my creative abilities and thus my writing schedule. Basically, I would be too tired to write.

But I looked for a job anyway.

I found the perfect fit, or so I thought. I would teach English online with a company in China. It was perfect. Flexible. Good pay. Right up my alley- teaching and English!

But God told me NO. Three times I put out the fleece and three times he sent it back. I couldn’t explain it, even felt crazy telling people that God told me not to do it. But I obeyed.

Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed for a child. At first they prayed for a son. A boy who would be like his father, a priest for the Lord. They envisioned a cherub that would grow into a man who would care for them in their old age. As time went by, they gave up on a son. A daughter would be fine. She would look like her mother, be gentle and kind, supportive of her family. But the daughter never appeared either.

Finally, the couple gave up. They didn’t know why, but it seemed as if God didn’t find them worthy of this blessing. They questioned, they cried, they hid their pain and embarrassment. And life went on.

Later, Zechariah’s lot as priest was chosen. This would be the year that he would go into the Holy of Holies. It was an honor, a privilege, an awesome event.

Zechariah walked up the steps, the rope tied to his waist jostling against his leg. He pushed the curtain aside like a child entering the Big Kids’ Class and walked forward. Smoke and incense filled the air as he prayed for the people.

Then an angel appeared and a prayer was answered. A son was given.

If Zechariah’s turn to serve had come earlier, he would have missed the divine encounter. If Elizabeth had had children earlier she wouldn’t have been available to host her cousin Mary and praise the mother of Jesus. If John had been born earlier, he would have missed the Christ.

The answer to their prayer had been given all along, it only needed time.

So many times I can’t understand why God doesn’t answer my prayers. I ask for good things. Things that surely are within his will. Perhaps he doesn’t send the blessing because the timing just isn’t right.

Last month I put the fleece back out, and God said YES. I don’t know what made the difference other than time. The time was right and the blessing was given.

May you be patient as you wait for his timing and his blessing.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Deck the Wall Hanging

christmas-991807__180Years ago, when my guys were little, my mother-in-law gave me a remnant of my husband’s childhood. It was a crocheted red and white wall hanging for Advent. There were twenty-four loose pieces of yarn to which I should tie pieces of candy. Then each day the boys would untie a piece of candy and be a day closer to Christmas. It was a way of building up to the true sweetness of Christmas.

One year, though, as I got out all of the Christmas decorations, the red and white wall hanging was ruined, shredded by a family of mice. Everyone was sad to see the end of the wall hanging. The boys were sad because they thought there might not be candy coming their way. I was sad because something special was ruined, and Matt was sad because a precious memory was now lost.

Jesus told us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

The wall hanging was a precious item because of its sentimental value. The yarn was of little material value. But our happiness was not intrinsic to the wall hanging. In fact, we mostly haven’t even noticed its absence.

Christmas has continued to come every year, even without the wall hanging. Christmas continues to come, because Christ came, not because of rituals and traditions. He is the truly treasured present that stays out all year long, even when mice are around.

God has entrusted us with his most precious treasure – people. He asks us to shepherd and mold them into strong disciples, with brave faith and good character.
John Ortberg