By Martha Bush
The first week, A Celebration of Hope, helped us to prepare our hearts to avoid the busy trap with our “to do” list of things we think we just have to do before Christmas. As we scroll down our list, we often become frustrated if everything is not done as we think they should be, and miss out on the real reason for the celebration. As Julie pointed out last week, “It’s something we can get caught up in so much and really bring it on ourselves without even thinking about.” How true that is, Julie.
Lisa shared with us a tip she uses in the midst of her busy schedule as a working woman: “I’ll be putting Jesus as my priority each day, taking breathers to dwell in His presence. Even just five-minute-breaks make the world of difference, and control what I can control and let the rest go. The innkeeper missed "seeing" Jesus because he shut the door on Mary and Joseph exclaiming, ‘No room in the inn.’"
Moved by Lisa’s thoughts, Ruth Ann commented, “I had never even considered that the Inn Keeper had missed Jesus by his unwillingness to accommodate Mary and Joseph!”
Ruth Ann's use of the word, "accommodate" hit me square in the face. “Okay, okay - - it's time for me to hit the pause button while I am writing this blog in the wee hours of the morning, and do a little accommodating.
I am back now. I needed that five-minute break. How did I ever think I could write a message of hope without accommodating Jesus first?
Today, I want to move to another word that can be associated with this season as we prepare our hearts for the celebration of our Savior's birth. That word is WAIT. Truthfully, that is a word we experience throughout our lifetime. Last week, Sue reminded us of one of those long waiting periods many of us have to face and that is, “I'm waiting to see if this is the year Hubby finally sees Jesus.” And everybody said, “Amen, Sista Sue, Amen!”
While wait doesn’t require a definition, the old school teacher in me just can’t resist starting a new lesson without defining our subject. Wait is to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon. (Webster’s online dictionary)
And that brings us to the main question on this second week of advent: “How do we respond while we are in this state of expecting or hoping something will happen?”
Allow me to submit what I believe is the answer to that question by reviewing a portion of a dialogue between Mary and the angel, Gabriel, when he came to announce she had been chosen to be the birth mother of Jesus. (Luke 1:26:38 NIV)
Gabriel: “You have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
Mary: “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Gabriel: “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you."
Mary: ““I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled."
My friends, I don’t want to take anything away from the real meaning of these scriptures, and get our focus off the virgin birth of Jesus. But I have to believe that within this short dialogue between Mary and Gabriel, it gives us a clue as to what happens during waiting periods we may go through.
Drum roll, please------
The Holy Spirit will come upon us while we wait
and overshadow us.
Overshadow means: (1) to throw a shadow over; (2) to shelter; to protect; to cover with protecting influence. (The KJV Dictionary)
And that, my friends, sends goose bumps all over my body to know that when we are waiting for the birth of our prayers be it-----
- the return of the prodigals,
- the outcome of a diagnosis,
- a relationship to be restored,
- finances to be restored,
- to be healed in soul, mind, and body,
- directions and guidance,
- an injustice to be overruled,
The Holy Spirit will come upon us to
protect and cover us with all His protecting influence.
1. With this protecting covering over us, we can go on with life, and grow into an intimate relationship with our Lord.
2. It is also here that we hear God's call to serve others, using the gifts He has created us with. When we proclaim as Mary did, "I am The Lord's servant," not only opens the door of opportunity to comfort others, but brings untold joy into our lives as we serve.
And all the people shouted in one accord—
“May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Lynn, I couldn't stop reading this book! It is the best you have written! It's a "self-help-bible-based-do-it-yourself-demon-slaying-victory-winning book" like no other I've ever read. I learned some new prayer points as well as clarification on what exactly does my situation mean. Everyone who reads this will want their bible, notebook and the Holy Spirit sitting next to them as they strategize with the tools you've given! -Barb