Thanksgiving Devotions Available!

Today is the day you can download your FREE copy of the Thanksgiving Devotional Plan.

 

This 10-day plan is perfect for the whole family to work through as you prepare your hearts for this season of gratitude. There are activities and discussion questions throughout the plan so download your copy here and get started TODAY!

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

A Prayer for the Week

Heavenly Father, thank you for a new week.

All the fragile, vulnerable, needy parts of me – I offer to you, Lord as a sacrifice. Knit together my fractured parts. Be the balm that shields me in weakness, meet every longing. All of my desires are met in you. Not in any one person, social media, distraction, or possession, but in you and you alone.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

To See the Messiah

Wan sunlight peered through the high window, lighting up the small cold room.

The old man was already praying.

For most of his adult life, this was Simeon’s routine. He awoke and prayed, washed his hands and face, ate a meager meal of dates and bread, and headed to the temple, his thoughts on his greatest desire. To see the Messiah.

He knew he would see the Messiah before he died, God had promised him that. But here he was, surely nearing the end of his life, his knees creaking as he shuffled along the familiar route to the temple. No Messiah yet.

Would he be a mysterious warrior, coming along to right the wrongs of the Jewish people? A king that would arise, capturing the hearts and allegiance of a country? Simeon turned left down the next street, the temple filling his view as visions and dreams of the coming savior filled his heart.

“Today,” whispered something in his heart. Simeon’s steps slowed. He craned his neck, as if hoping he’d see where the whisper came from.

“Today,” his heart resonated again.

His pulse quickening, he entered the courtyard, washed again, and instead of starting prayers as usual, he was distracted, examining those milling about the courtyard. Did he hear God right?

A young couple, or rather, the woman was young, entered with a swaddled bundle, presumably here for a circumcision. The eyes of the new parents roamed around, the woman moving slowly, the man gently guiding her.

“Him,” the whisper said.

“A baby?” Simeon let the question fill his heart. A baby? How could this be? A messiah? But as the couple came nearer, the questions fled, and hope took up residence.

The young woman placed her infant in Simeon’s arms and Simeon knew without a doubt, the king was here. How long he had waited! How many times he had almost given up hope! Yet here hope was, bundled up and only a few days old.

Simeon, and the rest of the world, would never be the same.

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. Luke 2:30-32

Wielding Waiting Wisely

Wielding Wating Wisely

I’m not the first person to notice our society is terrible at waiting.

Wielding Wating Wisely
 

Drive-thrus that take longer than Chick-Fil-A: horrible. Waiting four seconds for a YouTube video to load? What is this, the stone age? And now YOU’RE THROWING ADS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY VIDEO? Barbaric.

I’m 27, so that makes me old enough to remember what it was like to anxiously check the phone  (aka landline, aka this phone that didn’t leave the house) when we got back from running errands for messages. I remember being super lazy and not rewinding the VHS tapes because LAME. And I can tap into the annals of memory to hear the dial-up sound of logging onto the internet. I also remember that there were some days the internet just didn’t work. You read that right, kids. Some days, it just didn’t work.

However, I’m also young enough to realize there’s no going back. Even though there are days I long for a simple Samsung flip phone, I know that technology is only moving forward, not backward.

Waiting for Growth

Strange how the immediacy of knowledge, entertainment, and updates seeps into our walk with God. Refreshing Twitter takes .5 seconds, but gaining wisdom? A lifetime. Watching a YouTube video takes four minutes, but learning discretion does not. Try decades. Waiting for your snap to post is not really waiting. Persevering as God molds you into his image, that’s truly waiting. Becoming who he wants us to be is more like cooking a roast in the crockpot vs. microwaving leftovers: the slow, steady, simmer produces depth and richness a microwave simply can’t.

Stop a minute and ask yourself, “What am I waiting on?” More importantly, how are you waiting?

Waiting on God to answer prayers, that in limbo season between promised and fulfilled can be fruitful and special, but so often, we make waiting out to be static, to be nothing. We devalue delays.

The Value of Delays

However, God places great value on delays. Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years with a bunch of complainers (aka PEOPLE LIKE US) and never even got to walk in the promised land. Abraham was an old man before he was a dad. Noah worked on the ark for at least 100 years before the flood came. The list could go on.

Waiting is not a malady that strikes God’s people, but a natural tool for growth, but we treat it like a disease.

Wielded in God’s hands, waiting holds great power for our growth. We are refined. Our trust muscles are strengthened. Dead parts are trimmed away. Painful, yes. But fruitful? You bet. In the midst of a such a season, we must continually ask for God’s wisdom to wield waiting wisely. What does that look like?

  • It means doing less, not more.
  • It means asking different questions of the Lord: not “Why am I going through this?” but “What is that you want me to learn?” or “How do I grow closer to you?”
  • It means feeding your soul on the word, sitting under wise counsel, and reflecting over past trials.
  • It means serving and encouraging others.

Wielding Waiting Wisely

I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Psalm 130:6

Whatever you are waiting for, there is an opportunity to wield your delays wisely. We need more examples of intentional waiting. We have enough examples of impatience and frustration to last a lifetime. So let’s make a different choice. I promise waiting hasn’t gone out of style.

I promise your wait won’t be wasted.

What are some of the ways that you wield waiting wisely?