Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Celebrating Advent means learning how to wait. Waiting is an art which our impatient age has forgotten. We want to pluck the fruit before it has had time to ripen. Greedy eyes are soon disappointed when what they saw as luscious fruit is sour to the taste. In disappointment and disgust they throw it away. The fruit, full of promise rots on the ground. It is rejected without thanks by disappointed hands. The blessedness of waiting is lost on those who cannot wait, and the fulfillment of promise is never theirs. They want quick answers to the deepest questions of life and miss the value of those times of anxious waiting, seeking with patient uncertainties until the answers come. They lose the moment when the answers are revealed in dazzling clarity.

Ruth Haley Barton

If we are able to stay with our frustrations long enough and not give up, we may begin to suspect that the things that most need to be known and solved and figured out in our life are not going to be discovered, solved or figured out at the thinking level anyway. The things we most need to know, solve and figure out will be heard at the listening level, that place within us where God’s Spirit witnesses with our spirit (Rom 8:16).

Lysa Terkeurst

You may go through seasons where God seems silent in an area of your life. Don’t let that discourage you. You are not alone. In those hard seasons, remember that your relationship with God is the most important. Keep trusting Him. Keep praying. Keep watching for Him. And remember, God’s Word is Him speaking to us in written form—always available, and never silent.

Philip Yancey

God’s style often baffles me: God moves at a slow pace, prefers rebels and prodigals, restrains power, and speaks in whispers and silence. Yet even in these qualities I see evidence of God’s longsuffering, mercy, and desire to woo rather than compel. When in doubt, I focus on Jesus, the most unfiltered revelation of God’s own self. I learn to trust God, and when some tragedy or evil occurs that I cannot synthesize with the God I have come to know and love, then I look to other explanations.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

To wait openhandedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.