How Long?



Key Bible Verse: Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. … The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. (Isaiah 9:1-2)

Dig Deeper: Isaiah 9:1-7

Advent prepares us for Christmas [by directing our attention] toward Israel’s past longing for the Messiah to come, Christians’ future hope that Christ will come again, and the implications of both of these on how live today in light of Jesus’ teaching that he comes and makes his home in us.

Advent is characterized by waiting, longing, standing firm, watching, readiness, and staying awake. It puts us among the centuries of God’s people who have cried, “How long, O Lord?” If we can remain in this ready, longing, watchful waiting, we will be prepared to recognize and celebrate Christ’s coming.

Yet there is an accompanying version of the question that we should pose not to God but to ourselves: How long are we willing to wait? How long will we remain faithful if it seems that God continually remains silent?

I seem to have an unstated time limit on how long I’m willing to do so before I place my demands on God that he take notice and respond. [But] when I think of the lives of those I’ve known who have had the kind of life with God I desire, they seemed to have developed an ability to wait on God without any limit, whether it meant months, years, decades, or even an entire lifetime.

– Daniel Ethan Harris in Wait

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