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Advent Devotional: Waiting on the Ripening

Galatians 4: 4-5

During Advent, my Wednesday devotionals are focused on the Advent theme of waiting.

When we moved into our house, I found some scraggly vines in one corner of the yard. They produced beautiful red berries, but they tasted terrible. None of us wanted to eat those bitter berries.

Then one year, we were vacationing while the berries were growing. When we returned, the berries weren't red; they had turned a shiny purplish black color. Tasting those sweet berries, I realized that I had never let them fully ripen. Further study uncovered that these were dewberries, so luscious when ripe.

I didn't wait very well to find out how the berries would turn out. Similarly, we're not good at waiting on God. The Jewish people longed for a Messiah for dozens of generations, but only when God deemed the time ripe did he enter earthly flesh as Immanuel, God with us, as described in Galatians 4: 4-5 (ESV).

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Advent is symbolic of the waiting we frequently must do. Whether it's waiting for a good health report, for justice, for God's hand to move, for our needs to be met, or for simply whatever we think is important, we must learn patience and how to wait better. Then we can observe the ripening of the moment, like the development of the berry, growing and changing color, until it is eventually ripe and ready.

May we learn to wait this Advent.

Meanwhile, I say with a twinkle in my eye that you don't have to wait to order my new book, From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone: How Jesus Urges Us to Take Leaps of Faith for His Kingdom. It's available now for presale at Yes, you will still have to wait until the printer delivers copies in January, but you'll know it is coming to your house, for sure, when the time is ripe.

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