For the season of Advent, we will be publishing a new post once a week. The theme this year is “God’s plan for our life”. Follow along with us!
Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14
Welcome to Advent, a season of waiting. Advent is the season between the Sunday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. This time of advent is defined as “waiting for someone notable,” and I’d say we’re waiting for someone quite notable.
Waiting is hard. I do not believe that we, as people, have the innate ability to be patient and wait. We want things immediately; the stoplight to turn green, the microwave to be done microwaving, a text back, coffee to be done brewing or our team to win the championship game. But we do have to wait. We wait for answers. Waiting for answers can be very frustrating.
Back in September, I was in Northern Idaho working for an Outdoor Education program. I knew the season was not going to last forever and that I needed to find a new adventure. I began applying for camp jobs and internships all over the country. Wisconsin told me to wait a few weeks. Oregon told me give it until the end of September. Texas and New Jersey never responded. By the end of September, I still didn’t know where God wanted me. I continued to fill out applications and then Missouri told me to wait until the end of the week. I became impatient, made a Plan B and started considering other options; working in fast food, retail, etc. Those are not bad options but had I gone with Plan B, I knew I would no longer be pursuing what I wanted and what God wanted for me (to be in ministry). And I would not have been content with that.
And so I waited. It felt like forever. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, having to wait causes some serious anxiety. As the week progressed, my anxiety increased and I got more and more tired of waiting. I continued to pray about it. I didn’t necessarily pray that I would be offered a position, but more that God would let me know what the ending outcome would be. And sure enough, at the end of the week, I received a call and had been offered a program internship here at the Heartland Center. After a month and a half, prayers had been answered.
I felt so much relief. All the waiting and anxiety had paid off. Two months later it is very clear that Heartland is where God wanted me. When we get impatient and rush we miss out on the experiences and opportunities God has in store in for us.
Sometimes we have to wait. In my experience, waiting often leads to a positive outcome. Waiting is hard; however, I have found that rushing only makes things harder. God has a plan for us, as individuals, as a community, a country and ultimately the world. A major piece of that plan is revealed to Mary just months before Christmas (Luke 1:31).
Things to do with your campers
What are we waiting for right now? More importantly, WHO are we waiting for? I know it seems like a silly question, but when I was little my answer was Christmas. And while that is not a wrong answer, what is the deeper answer?
Read Psalm 27:11-14 and Luke 1:26-38 and discuss! Can you think of examples where waiting had benefited you? Discuss what it would be like to be in Mary’s position.
Activity: It is the first of December, which means Advent calendars have begun (although it is not too late to make one or buy one). Advent calendars are a great way to wait for and anticipate the birth of Jesus. Most commonly advent calendars are used with candy but consider putting activities in yours; baking cookies for a neighbor, family game night, reading a specific Bible passage, etc.
Other ideas are here https://www.pinterest.com/pin/95771929556112566/