The Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him.
Advent is a time of waiting—not a waiting that is full of fear or dread—but a waiting that is marked by hope. Our hope in this time of waiting is based on God’s self revelation. God longs to be gracious to us. God rises to show us compassion.
We wait with hopeful expectancy because of who God is. God is love. This reality is the heart beat of the advent season. It is the reason for our joy. God loves us.
Advent is a time of preparing to receive and celebrate the breathtaking gift of God’s love shown to us in Jesus.
While we wait we would do well to focus on God’s declaration of love for us. We do well to allow ourselves to drink it in so that it fills our thirsty souls. During this time of waiting we have the opportunity to let God’s declaration of love for us be the powerful healing ointment it can be, mending the wounds of our hearts—broken by love disappointed, love failed, love lost.
Sometimes our times of waiting in life are filled with dread. In those times, waiting can feel torturous. Sometimes our times of waiting are filled with uncertainties. In those times, waiting can be anxiety ridden. But as we wait for the coming of the One who is love, we wait with hopeful expectancy and the waiting itself becomes a blessing.
Advent days are days of waiting for the dawn to come and pierce our darkness. And just as we wait in the predawn darkness with hope that the sun will rise, we wait during Advent with hope and expectant joy for the coming of the One longs to be gracious to us, the One who rises to show us compassion.
You tell us that you long to be gracious to us,
that you will rise up to show us compassion.
I want to take this in.
I want to believe from the depths of my being
that you love me—
that you love us all.
But my heart is wounded and defended.
I ask that you will heal these wounds
with the powerful ointment of your great compassion.
Move past my defenses, my walls, my armor
with your tender love.
Teach me to wait for you with hope and joy,
oh gracious, compassionate God.