Editor's note: "An uncommon Advent: the arrival of a Savior in our lives" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God's Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound anticipation and zeal through the Holy Spirit.

December 5 – Holding God’s mighty hand in the waiting

Isaiah 11:1-12:6 and 2 Peter 2:1-22

Throughout the Bible, the Hand of God moved in mighty ways within the lives of individuals who were suffering in despair and appeared to have no hope. Still, they waited on God’s promises and were sustained by His steadfast love. Joseph went from the pit to the palace, and Ruth went from working in the fields to owning them. God was with them and held them close, even as they watched and waited on His promises and His timing. We have assurance in Isaiah 12:2, Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. It is beyond comforting to know that the God of the universe walks with us every day of our lives and holds our hand through the power of faith.

In my walk with God, there have been times that the burdens were so heavy I did not know what to do. I could have easily thrown in the towel and chosen a different path. Instead, I stayed the course through the power of the Holy Spirit. My parents taught me the importance of “standing for something or falling for anything.” It was during those seasons that I stood by faith and in the example of our Savior, whose description was foretold in Isaiah 11. With righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins (verses 4, 5).

This season of Advent is also a season of waiting on God’s promises and His timing. That anticipation and trust made possible through faith—demonstrated in the lives of Joseph and Ruth as well as in our lives today—is something we can hold on to every day. God can turn any test into a testimony. There are times that you may face agonizing challenges in your life. God’s promise may be taking longer than you anticipated, and you may not be able to see past your present situation. Advent reminds us again to watch patiently for Jesus, our promised Savior. God’s mighty hand takes our anxious, waiting one and leads us forward in His love and faithfulness.

Dr. Charnetta Gadling Cole is the chair of the Department of Social Work and has served at Concordia since 2019. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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