Waiting with Courage

I find myself looking back quite a bit throughout the Advent season. Looking back at the previous year, looking back at previous Christmases, and taking a further look back at the first Christmas. I wonder what waiting for the Messiah was like for the Isrealites. Was it peaceful? Did they hold confidence he would come? Did they despair after encountering disappointments?

The human experience of waiting on God to come through on His Word presents us with great challenges. Waiting requires courage.

When I think of courage, I often think of doing. I think less about being still. I imagine a large mountain that I just can’t climb on my own, but I try climbing it. A dear friend of mine is battling cancer this Christmas season. In our most vulnerable conversations, I know she is at the end of her rope. God is carrying her into some dark places, and she is trusting He will sustain her there. She is weak, struggling, and feels stripped of comfort. She is waiting. Waiting for God to do what only He can do.

I am reminded that courage may be more easily recognizable from the exterior than self-identified. What if courage feels terrible sometimes? What if waiting on God highlights our weaknesses? What if we begin feeling quite small while we wait?

One of the most well-known stories from scripture is about an ordinary shepherd boy who fought and slayed a giant while carrying only five smooth rocks and a slingshot. This teenage boy, whose body felt the extreme emotions of potentially being slayed by a giant, later wrote Psalm 27:13-14:
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

When David penned this psalm, he considered it an act of “courage” to wait on the Lord. Whoa! Did you catch that? David. Giant-slaying David wrote, “Let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
I think David could relate to feeling small. He knew any strength that would come from slaying a giant would not be his own. A prerequisite for watching God move in power is to wait on Him. Taking courage and allowing the waiting to complete its good work. “So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:4 MSG)

A prerequisite for watching God move in power is to wait on Him.

Will a courageous heart posture feel awful at times? I think that it will. I also expect that waiting on the Lord is worth it. God will come through. Look back and remember–– the Isrealites waited too. At the ordained time, God sent Jesus. “But when the right time came, God sent his Son” Galatians 4:4. God is faithful. Let’s courageously have our gaze fixed firmly on Heaven when His good plans come to fruition.

Brooke Talley is a mother and a lover of James 1:27. She began writing to heal in the wake of her husband’s death by suicide. Communicating the Gospel message has become one of her greatest passions. Brooke is the founder of a discipleship ministry called Songs in the Night. She believes that the depths of grief can propel us into even deeper places with God. Brooke will graduate in 2024 from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master of Biblical and Theological Foundations.

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