Advent, Waiting, and Deliverance

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
- Romans 8:24-26, MSG

Mary had done a lot of waiting for Jesus’s birth. Now we await Christ to return again. Advent itself is the season of the church calendar when we specifically name the fact that we are still waiting for Christ to come back and set all things to right.

Any way you look at it, there’s just a lot of waiting in life. If we embrace it in healthy ways it can enlarge us, as Paul wrote in Romans 8, above.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was killed by the Nazis for resisting their regime, wrote a letter to his fiancee from Tegel Prison as he awaited his execution. In it he captures what it means to need God, to rely on God, and to wait for God. Allow these words, and the Scripture above, to shape your prayer time today as you talk with God about waiting for deliverance.

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, does various unessential things, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened *from the outside*, is not a bad picture of Advent.