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God’s Gift: Tenacity

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Day 20 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible reading: Esther 4:10-17

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 image from One Night with the King, 2006, directed by Michael O. Sajbel

Esther is my favorite Old Testament book and this is my favorite passage. . .”For such a time as this.”

God’s plans and thoughts are higher than our own.  We have no way of knowing or understanding what He orchestrates when we are in the thick of it.  But we can have peace–wholeness–knowing that where and when we are can be for His glory in such a time as this.

Esther faced the unknown with this peace, granting her tenacity to address the king and possible death.  She did not deny her Father. And He had her in an environment that would reveal His power.

Thoughts for today:

In your season of waiting, is God asking you to step out in faith to face an uncertainty?

We may not understand why God has us where He does at the moment.  It could be a job, a relationship, a medical condition. But we can be certain that He is granting us the power to glorify Him in this time.

God’s Gift: Ruling

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Day 17 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 11:1-9

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Image: public domain

Part of this scripture reading was Day One of our waiting.  Here we are reminded of the characteristics of the Holy Trinity: wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge.

But today’s reading goes further.  It explains the gift of God’s ruling.  It will bring such peace that creatures who were once enemies will eat together and lie down together.  The knowledge of the Lord will bring safety.

Only the fear of the Lord will remain. . .that awe inspiring, righteous trembling of His great power and rule.  We will not have a fear of each other.

God’s rule will bring His creation together.  What a beautiful thing on which to wait.

Thoughts for today:

What fears are keeping you awake at night as you wait?

How do you think it will feel to give all that fear to the Lord and rely simply on His ability?

Too often, God, we let our fears control what we do during this time of waiting.  We wrap ourselves in the memory of the past rather than look toward Your ruling of our future.  Help us to lay down our fears and to move toward Your light as we continue to wait.

God’s Gift: Power

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Day 16 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible Reading: I Kings 18:17-39

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Image: public domain

Oh, what a beautiful example of the power of God! And, a lesson to us all to not waver (or dance, as the text says) between our choices.

Elijah’s simple prayer to the Almighty is in such contrast to the antics of the prophets of Baal. His prayer is not for himself, but so that the people in attendance will know the one true God.

And the one true God answers!

He pulls their attention and their hearts back to Him in a way no other could EVER do. 

Thoughts for today:

Are you wavering in indecision while you wait?

What would happen if you simply asked God to use your situation to show the people around you His power?

God’s power is not something we can understand.  Our minds can’t grasp everything He is capable of doing because we are so weak. . .much like the beloved children’s song says. We are little.  Call on God’s power to show you and those around you what the direction of your hearts should be.

God’s Gift: Restoration

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For the next 25 days, I intend to share with you my Advent devotional. I wrote it to remember God’s goodness and gifts while I grieved for our lost babies.  

I also wrote it with the intention of using it with a Jesse Tree, though this isn’t necessary.

Jesse Tree scriptures are relatively standard across denominations.  Sometimes the order is a bit different or the addition of another unlikely hero may be included.  I used the progression of scriptures included in Jesse Tree Journey by Ann Voskamp and Nancy Rodden from www.aholyexperience.com.  I wrote the scripture references at the top of individual pages in my journal, and then put their words away.

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Bible Reading: Isaiah 11:1-2

When I was growing up, we had a maple tree which my parents decided to cut down.  The stump marked the edge of a makeshift parking spot in our yard. After a season of “stumpiness”, it sprouted.  The maple tree came back more beautiful and full than it had ever been previously.

A stump seems dead, but when we wait patiently, it bears new life.  These verses remind us of the Trinity and the characteristics that are bestowed upon Jesus: wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, loving reverence of God.  We wait expectantly for these traits to appear from the stump of Judah. It is Advent.

We progress through all of God’s gifts, towards the One.

Thoughts for today:

How can you recognize beauty in the waiting? 

Where can you nurture to bring forth beauty and fullness that previously was missing?

Where can you display more patience in your life?

Ask God today to reveal areas where restoration is waiting in your life. Ask God to help you relax in the waiting.