hoping, waiting and working.

adventbegins

It’s Sunday evening and I’m slumped into the couch with my hair mussed into a pony tail. We’re stuffed with Thanksgiving food and a few days just us and we’re all itchy around the edges from days off and free schedules and too much sugar.

I give voice to the small current bubbling underneath. “I don’t feel important.” It’s mostly to do with the fact that much of my work is the turning of a wheel, undone minutes after I’ve neatly checked the box on my list of accomplishments. I return to similar things over and over again and I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere.

This is the nature of work this side of heaven, a reminder that our hearts aren’t meant to wrap up in this home totally. We are headed somewhere and while rest is real here, it’s tangible and glorious there. Right there bowed low before our God and King, we’ll know no more striving or tears or helplessness.

But what about right now? Advent has begun. We wait. We hope. We look for His beyond magical ways in glittery twinkle lights. We rush to start it earlier and earlier so that we can hold tighter and tighter to the sparkly flutter by moments of December.

I must be like the Israelites, I think–caught up in that same old cycle. Worship. Idolatry. Worship. Idolatry. Because isn’t that what I’m doing? If I look to my work and the completion of it for value then I elevate it. I lift it up above the very One whose words are the bedrock truth about who I am.

I AM wrapped himself up in our soft skin and He walked the world. He Is With Us lived, loved, and conquered so that we do not have to be defined by our working anymore. Who we are is this: God loves us. He loves us. He loves us. He loves us.

And I surrender to this truth. I lay my work at his feet and my pride-bent heart, too–looking to be important. I ask Him to birth His truth over and over again in my heart, just like that hay scented evening. I ask Him to teach me to wait because hoping is waiting on His work and His love to define me instead of rushing ahead to add all of my trappings and accomplishments. The work comes, yes, but not without love. It is empty without love.

I enter this advent like an Israelite, tired of my own endless cycle. I pray to wait like Mary, overshadowed by His work. I ask to wonder like the shepherds, my eyes on His loveliness and not myself.

I’m linking up with Emily for Tuesdays Unwrapped. Go. Read. It’s one of my favorite communities.

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8 thoughts on “hoping, waiting and working.

  1. Really beautiful post. A joy to read…I enter this advent like an Israelite, tired of my own endless cycle. I pray to wait like Mary, overshadowed by His work. I ask to wonder like the shepherds, my eyes on His loveliness and not myself.

  2. “I ask Him to birth His truth over and over again in my heart, just like that hay scented evening.”

    Absolutely beautiful. I completely agree with you. I feel like everything speeds up towards the end of the year, everyone does as much as they can and everything begins to snowball by New Years. I’m so exhausted by Christmas, but that isn’t what advent is all about, He came to make all things new but I don’t let Him renew me. How humbling are these words and this reminder!

    Love this post and your site! So glad I found it through the link up!

  3. This is such a good description of the struggle we face. I’ve been proud enough to boast in my thinking that I wouldn’t be like the Israelites, yet that’s exactly what I am each and every day. And I’m tired, too. The cycle can only be broken by my willingness to admit the failures and press on in Him. Oh, to love like He loves. Thank you for this word, Ellen.

  4. Thank you for this post, it touched my heart. I especially loved the closing resolution and seek to emulate this as well. “I enter this advent like an Israelite, tired of my own endless cycle. I pray to wait like Mary, overshadowed by His work. I ask to wonder like the shepherds, my eyes on His loveliness and not myself.”

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