Sunday marked the beginning of Advent – the weeks of waiting leading to Christmas. I took some time to notice the state of my soul upon entering this special season of anticipation and preparation. I recognized that I felt weary. As I looked forward to the fullness of the next month I began the season feeling tired.
Weary – feeling or showing tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep, reluctant to see or experieFnce any more of.
What about you? Take a few moments to gauge the state of your soul as you enter the Advent season. How do you feel? Energized, overworked, hopeful, fatigued, sad, frustrated, fearful, surprised, etc…
As I considered the weariness within me, I noted the reality of a stressful year. 2022 brought physical exhaustion, relational strain, emotional drain, healing growth, professional curiosity, and moments of great uncertainty. Nevertheless, my heart longed to enter this Advent season at the end of 2022 rested, expectant, joyful, and encouraged. I pondered with God the ways He might tend to my soul so as not to miss the significance and meaning of the next month.
Wonder with God about the places within your being that feel weary, hopeful, or some other emotion. How might God tend to your needs in unique and remarkable ways this Advent season?
Looking up the word weary in Scripture offered encouragement and hope to my soul. The prophet, Jeremiah, declared that God refreshes the weary and satisfies the faint (Jeremiah 31:25). I wondered about the ways God might bring refreshment during Advent 2022. No matter the state of your soul, I hope these truths from God’s Word uplift your journey into and through Advent.
Psalm 68:9 reminds us that God gives abundantly and refreshes the weary. Each day during Advent I plan to look for the abundance of God. Whether His abundance shines from the sunshine, clouds dropping snow, food in the pantry, sincere conversation, or worship through music join me by living aware of God’s abundance and welcome God’s extravagant posture to refresh any weary parts of your soul.
God offers comfort and strength to the weary soul. Psalm 119:28 reminds us that Scripture fortifies us when we experience exhaustion in any form. Our Living Lord, through the Scriptures vitalizes our lives. He restores our passion, energy, and brilliance. Each day during Advent I plan to remind myself that with God my life experiences His vitality. He is where life to the full begins and ends. Join me by remembering that God meets our weariness with His zest for life and enlivens us from within offering His vitality.
Likewise Isaiah proclaimed the power of our sovereign God to increase the power of the weak and offer strength and fortification to our inner being. Each day during Advent I plan to engage with Scripture. Whether a single verse or a full chapter, I want to let God’s inspired words sustain my soul. Join me by letting God awaken you in the morning with His life-giving Word and listen as the Holy Spirit instructs your heart (Isaiah 50:4).
Jesus invites us to enter into rest by coming to Him in our weariness (Matthew 11:28-29). This requires humility. We must admit our limitations and weakness and declare our dependence upon God. Describing Himself as gentle and humble, the Savior of the world, whose birth we celebrate this Advent, welcomes our reliance upon Him for rest which offers renewal and strength.
Each day during Advent I plan to accept my limitations and declare my dependence upon God. I accept the reality that at times I will need to say “no” to something really good in order to care for my well-being. I can trust God to meet me in my weakness and offer just what I need in the moment. Join me by embracing your human constraints and depending on God.
With the principle of sowing and reaping, the Apostle Paul encouraged those in Galatia to not become weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). The Advent season offers opportunities to do much good. What good might God nudge you and I to engage in this month? Each day during Advent I want to live attentive to the nudges of God, those gentle and humble whispers of God that invite me to do good to others for His sake. Nudges take many forms, but I want to be alert. Join me by living watchful for and acting upon God’s invitations to do good.
Consider God’s nudges to do good to you during Advent. Nudges like: offering a kind greeting, giving an unexpected gift, serving the hurting, writing a note of encouragement, sharing a meal, providing a ride, taking a walk, or offering the gift of presence and companionship. As today is Giving Tuesday in America, how might this doing good start today?.
As we engage Advent, most of all, I want to reflect on Jesus and His impact upon the world. He came as a babe and left as our King, defeating the power of death and sin. He endured much during His 33 years on earth and the writer of Hebrews encouraged followers of Jesus Christ to remember all that Christ endured so that we do not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3).
Jesus triumphed over the ways of the world bringing hope and healing. Each day during Advent I plan to remember the triumph of Christ. His triumph is our triumph. He alone gives victory and looking to Him strengthens our hearts and minds when the burdens of this world feel heavy. When you notice the weary within your soul, join me in celebrating the triumph of God. Let His victory be your victory through the ups and downs of the Advent season.
God meets us in the weary places within our souls. He is faithful! Join me this Advent season by encountering God in the midst of the authentic and raw feelings stirring within you. Look for the abundance of God in and around you. Embrace the vitality of God within your soul. Declare dependence upon God as you recognize your limitations. Engage with Scripture to allow the Spirit to strengthen you. Notice and act upon God’s nudges to do good to others. Let the triumph of God encourage the weary spaces in your heart and invigorate your trust in His presence with you.
Advent = Abundance – Dependence – Vitality – Engage – Nudge – Triumph
May Advent 2022 offer meaningful moments with God and others.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Psalm 119:28 – My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Isaiah 40:28 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Jean-Pierre De Caussade. The Sacrament of the Present Moment. New York, NY. 1966.
Ann Voskamp. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. Carol Stream, IL. 2014.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Amy Grant. Breath of Heaven. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWo3qlqyW1c
Vertical Worship. Strength of my Life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sqy1URx4mg
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
December 9 – Littleton, CO
Breathe Retreat (A two hour spiritual retreat for women) – Join us. Email me for more information.