Wait! Watch! Pray!

December 9, 2002
by Iris Ford

Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (NIV)

Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I put my hope. (NIV)

"Wait! Watch! Pray for the One…" the choir sings. It's an anthem for Advent, and we have been practicing hard to perfect it, along with many others, all new to me. My problem is, I miss the alto note for "waiting" every time! Wait! Ugh! As we climb into the lofty heights of patient waiting, my stress mounts. I'm not good at waiting at any time. The material mindset affects so many of us. Fast drivers explode with road rage, blood pressure rises, commuting home takes an extra hour, and shopping lists grow longer. It's the season called Rush, and there is less and less time for the family — and for the Lord.

How can we slow down and wait? We are to watch! Reading Scripture cautions us not to go rushing ahead, trying to accomplish something without the Lord. We are to put our hope in his Word, not in our own efforts. His Word was made flesh and now he dwells among us. This has been very apparent to me for during these past few weeks that we have leaned a lot on Him. We have been busy moving, filling almost a hundred boxes, marking some with red dots to stand out. Those red-marked boxes are needed in our temporary, rented beach cottage on Vancouver Island; the others are going into storage. Yellow dots should have marked our indecision and guilt. "Are we doing the right thing? Should we give this to the Thrift Store or throw it out?" Then we began to realize that there were yellow dots of uncertainty scattered through our whole lives, and this led us right into prayer: "Lord, we need to be sure. Help us pack only that which pleases you into the boxes of our lives, for you will be the One to unpack them."

Yes, Advent is full of the coloured lights of life. Our souls are strewn with Christmas boxes from the past: some sad, many joyful, all making us ponder and wait! Waiting for this Christmas, we wonder what it will be like this year in a new place. We ponder what it all means as we sing, "Wait, watch and pray, pray for the One who brings hope and peace to a wearied earth". Yes, Advent is a time for waiting, watching for the Lord to catch up with us. We watch with great anticipation and prayer. Are our hearts prepared for the One who will come to us? Have our souls room for him?

Prayer: Dear Lord, we confess to having too many red dots filling our lives with material things, too many yellow times of despair and confusion, as we rush around. Lord, may this Advent reflect a green light, a light to show us your way. We can tell the difference immediately, for then our day unfolds with your hope, peace, and love, all abundant blessings from you. Your presence smoothes the way. That's what we need to wait for. May we never again go ahead without you, thinking we know it all. Help us to relax and wait for the Lord's coming, for he will come. Our hearts are prepared. Our souls are ready. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

About the author:

Iris Ford
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

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