Many moons ago, when I received the phone call that led to a rather trembling “yes” I had no idea what I was stepping into. I mean I had a small idea, but it was so small, it barely counts, because the reality of that one wild “yes” has become something of a journey, a pilgrimage of a soul even, or like Peterson calls it, “a long obedience in the same direction.”
Long, being the operative word. Even as I write that I remind myself that God’s perspective doesn’t look like the time frames I construct for myself, that kairos and chronos are distinctly different, that I live in one (chronos) while God operates out of the other (kairos). I mark time on my calendar, by my watch, logging seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years, while God moves through seasons.
And who knows how long a season will last?
We are a people uncomfortable with and unaccustomed to waiting. Waiting requires a measure of discipline; it demands patience, and if we will lean into that space, waiting teaches us something of our own sanctification. A recent commercial I heard on the radio confirmed our culture’s outright rejection of waiting, when a woman in a banking ad sort of sneered, “to me, impatience is a virtue.” Many of us do not wait well.
It’s been 17 months since that phone call, since that yes, and in so many ways I’ve made what feels like, what looks like, no forward progress. I began with a goal in mind, and if I am honest with myself, I have in fact accomplished what I set out to do. But you have seen nothing of that effort, I don’t have much to show. It’s been a private work of long, humbling, difficult obedience.
There’s more still, and that story is not over–
While that story continues to work itself out, I’ve lived these 17 months in a waiting season. Who of God’s people doesn’t know about fallow seasons of seemingly stagnant growth, with little tangible proof that God is in fact, wildly at work beneath the surface? Abraham, Sarah, Hannah, Moses, Jeremiah,–these names only a handful of the many saints who waited through long seasons to see fruit of their God-dreams.
Who among us hasn’t known the bitter place of “not yet”?
Waiting is a labor of its own. And not nearly as passive work as it appears to be.
We’re not the first people who’ve lamented the seemingly slow gestation of the Holy. From the first exile out of the Garden of Eden, people throughout the centuries have been waiting for their King to come. Come, Lord Jesus they have prayed, and during Advent we find ourselves uttering the same three words. O Come, O Come, Immanuel, we sing, weary from the waiting.
Amid my own ongoing waiting season, I turned from staring down one project, to working my way through something else. Years ago, this one phrase, “Come, Lord Jesus” rattled around in my ribs like a loose marble, rolling back and forth, never letting me forget it’s presence. Come, Lord Jesus, I heard it over and over again. I knew what it was then, but had no time to explore the idea. It wasn’t the right time, wasn’t the right season.
And now, two years after that phrase first lodged itself in my ribs, its season has arrived.
I put one word down. Then one more, and more after that until what unraveled before me became something concrete. Something hopeful, something to hold in the waiting.
While the fireworks of Independence day cracked and boomed through the sky, I walked deliberately through Advent–a “coming” season. I transcribed the weight of my own waiting, and those words became a book, an Advent book called, Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting.
“Come, Lord Jesus is a much needed respite during what’s become the chaos of Christmas. If you’re feeling empty, desperately wanting to see Christ in Christmas, pick up this refreshing book and beautifully prepare your heart for His advent.” (Mary DeMuth, author of Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy.)
Who among us isn’t waiting now for something? A dream, a cure, a promise fulfilled, a hope to be realized, a vision restored, healing, provision, an answer–we’re all holding out our hands, waiting for God, and yet He is here already. He is fully in our midst even as we wait for Him. This is where the tension is, in the now and not yet.
Come, Lord Jesus is a companion in the waiting of Advent. It’s a quiet invitation to sit with the weight of waiting, and recount the faithfulness of God, to trace the hope of Christmas, and prepare the way for Jesus’ coming into the world, into our own hearts, into our everyday, ordinary time.
With its offering of a daily reading, a reflection, prayer and one, or two reflective questions for you to contemplate, I believe this book to be a suitable, welcome “friend” to readers during the Advent season.
…But what if we took just the next few weeks to sit still just for a few moments, to let ourselves feel the weight of waiting? What if we slowed ourselves just enough to whisper Come, Lord Jesus, and then gave Him unhurried space to enter into us?
I’m looking for a few friends to help me share this book. What qualifications do you need? A) You like to read B) You want to help spread the word about this book when it launches on Nov. 2. That’s pretty much it. 😉 Sending a book out into the world is no small task, and truthfully, I can’t do it without you. This is me, humbly inviting you to join me in this leg of the journey.
If you’re interested in joining the “street team” for Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, simply click here to fill out the google form.