Storying Christmas: Waiting

STORYINGCHRISTMASwaitingChristmas is, in many ways, a waiting game. We have to be patient ALL year long until Christmas day. We have to wait to open presents until the 25th – even when we can see them sitting there under the tree in December!

I complain a lot during this season because I just can’t wait to open my presents! But, if I’m being honest, part of the fun is the waiting – the anticipation, the longing for what’s under the tree.

For centuries, the people of God had been waiting for the Messiah to come – a Messiah who would rescue them and lead them forward – one who would be their king.

God used Moses and Aaron to take them out of slavery in Egypt. He used Joshua to lead them out of wilderness and into a Promised Land. But, like we do so often, they got impatient. David and Solomon built a great kingdom. Every time, like us, the Israelites got tired of waiting for God – much less the Messiah! Here is what God says to them through Isaiah:

Isaiah 30: 15, 18


“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,

In quietness and trust is your strength,

But you would have none of it.

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;

Therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the LORD is a God of justice.

Blessed are all who wait for Him!’

 In this passage from Isaiah, God tells the Israelites (and us today) to repent and rest, then we will find salvation and strength.

Even though we are impatient toward God sometimes, he wants to show us compassion and he does this through a Messiah. Through Jesus Christ, the baby, the man, the sacrificial lamb.

I think it’s important to realize that God doesn’t always give you what you expect. For example, you might know that the rectangle present under the tree is a book. But, you may be surprised at what book is under that Santa-laden wrapping paper. Jesus was not exactly what the people expected. They probably thought they were going to get a warrior rather than a carpenter.

Realize that God knows what we need more than we do. In the case of Jesus the Messiah, it was freedom from sin rather than from man.

In our waiting and through our repentance and rest, God will come through. He will come through for us like he did on the first Christmas.

What are you waiting for these days? Talk it through with the Messiah, then thank Him that you don’t have to wait for Him to come anymore. He’s already done that. Let him know that you realize he knows what we need. Tell him that you trust him, and that you will wait for him.



Missed something? Check out these Christmas posts:



…And Joy


Summer Christmas


God with us: Part I


God with us: Part II


God with us: Part III


Storying Christmas: Waiting


Christmas Eve & The Miracle Fern


Pause with Four Principles from “Freedom in Christ”

the power of pause four principles

Welcome back to our series, “The Power of Pause”! We’ve talked about why we need to just stop and rest sometimes, what sort of things distract us, and why we need to pause even when it’s painful. Today, we have four helpful principles for you to look at alongside Scripture.

I mentioned a course I did at church by Neil T. Anderson and Steve Goss called “Freedom in Christ”. Today, I just want to share some points from the end of the participant’s guide. There were four out of eight from their “God’s Guidelines for the Walk of Faith” which spoke to me about what God wants from us regarding our time.

None of these points are my own. They come straight out of the book. I’ve just highlighted a few and added some thoughts. You can learn more about Freedom in Christ Ministries here.

Here we go! Pause with these four principles:

PRINCIPLE ONE – Significance comes from proper use of time.

“…their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of every person’s work.”  – from 1 Corinthians 3:13


“…if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” – from Acts 5:33-40


“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present and the life to come.” – from 1 Timothy 4:7-8

The Bible tells us that what we do (or choose not to do) with our time is important. And not only just important – it will be tested. If the purpose of what you do is of God, then that act is powerful. No one can stop you. Because time is important, we shouldn’t waste it on things not from God – like gossip, for instance. And maybe we shouldn’t click on ridiculous celebrity new articles and videos, either. It makes me want to do good with my time, knowing that God’s good inside of his people is powerful.

PRINCIPLE TWO – Salvation comes from living a quality life.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5


“When there were no oceans, I [wisdom] was given birth… when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in humankind.” – from Proverbs 8:24-31


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. – from II Timothy 4:7-8

Wisdom defined could be said to just be delighted with God’s presence – being delight with this world, with creation – and with all the people he has made. Being delighted in how he made you and in how he made others. My best quality of life comes when I find that contentment – being with God and seeing as He sees. And great is our reward, given us by God himself, with whom we have walked intimately – who has struggled alongside us, mourned with us, and danced with us.

PRINCIPLE THREE – Fun comes from enjoying life moment by moment.

“[After dancing before the Lord, David tells a criticizing Michal,] “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” – From II Samuel 6


“Am I now trying to win human approval or God’s approval? Or am I still trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ… It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 1:10, 5:1


“So whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God, Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by what they approve… Everything that does not come from faith is sin.”  = Romans 14:22

Enjoying life, having fun, does not mean what most of the world wants us to think it means. What we see on TV or Netflix is completely different from true joy. Real “fun” comes from that joy of God’s presence – like David dancing in God’s presence without caring who saw him or how he looked. It doesn’t depend on anything or anyone aside from the creator of fun, the creator of joy and of true happiness and contentment. Once you’ve experienced that joy, clubs and meaningless relationships just don’t measure up. Dancing for God is where it’s at, ya’ll.

PRINCIPLE FOUR – Peace comes from quieting the inner storm.

“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were hot serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”  – Jeremiah 6:14-15


“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7


“The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” – Isaiah 32:16-17

We’ve talked about all the distractions in life, and we’ve discussed that it is just plain hard to pause in the middle of all the madness. We want peace, but like in Jeremiah, there’s greed and deceit and false kindness all around. We need to find peace. Our minds are chaos. There’s fear, anxiety, depression, discontent in our minds. It really does feel like a tornado is rummaging all through the head. But Jesus promises peace. I love that last bit – “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”

If we chase after righteousness by using our time well – by spending time with our Saviour – I believe we can find peace and enjoy a quality life. It’s a worthwhile goal.

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