During Advent, we often talk about hope. And one aspect of hope is our ability to abide in God’s presence while waiting for whatever will come. Jesus called himself the vine and his disciples (including us) the branches; for the branches to live, they must abide in the vine. For our lives to thrive and bear fruit—even while waiting—we need to learn abiding. We need to abide in Presence and allow that presence to soothe our souls and give courage to our dreams.
Can you think of a situation in which you abided, in which you dwelled with another and connected to that other for support and nurture?
- A child abides in a parent.
- A friend abides with a friend, through good and bad times.
- An artist abides in the environment that inspires and nurtures the art.
- A person who is ill or wounded abides in the care of those helping and healing.
- People abide together during disasters and trials, as they figure out what to do and work together to help those in distress.
- A person abides in the silence that allows for reflection and prayer.
In what or whom are you abiding this day? What does it feel like to abide? How do you know you are abiding? Do you trust? Do you have hope? Have you found some form of security?
Is it possible to abide in a promise, such as God’s promise in the Christ Child? In the days to come, dwell with that child in your imagination. Linger near the manger; watch while Mary nurtures the baby or while Joseph carries him in strong, protective arms. Remember a baby you have known and how every adult abided in that little one’s presence—to protect and nurture, but also to believe in that little one’s future.
The child Jesus will grow up to be the Savior Jesus: our teacher, healer, brother, and friend. If you can abide with the child and look forward to who he will become, then can you also abide with the Savior and wait in hope and peaceful confidence for who he will become in your own life?
We wait for the baby to grow up; we try not to rush this, because we know that growing is a tender, important process. So we abide with the baby, the child, the teenager, the young adult, and so on.
We abide with Jesus the Savior, but he also abides with us—through every stage of our becoming. Allow these remaining days of Advent to become a time of abiding, of waiting and wondering, of gathering strength and inspiration for your future.