Advent 2005 devotional: Waiting, watching and walking - Word&Way

Advent 2005 devotional: Waiting, watching and walking

November 30, Isaiah 11:1-10

By Milton Ferguson, Retired President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

The night was dark, the snow deep, and a bitter wind stung our faces. We were "cold Milton Fergusonto the bone," lost somewhere among the mountains of Korea. We had stopped to rest, but not for long. As we stamped our numbed feet in the snow, we grew more anxious about finding our way back to base.

Eager to get going, we started to move out, but Kim, our guide, said, "No! We not go yet. We wait!" We couldn't understand, but slowly we learned why. As we waited, the snow clouds thinned and visibility improved.

Kim had been waiting for a certain star to appear. Soon he said, "Now we go! We keep star over shoulder and walk that way." We did and a couple of hours later, we recognized the familiar path back to base.

As we trudged along, I thought of Christmases past and the story of three kings following the star. In a wondrous way, they also were looking for "the path to base."

The people had suffered much and waited long as the kings whom they trusted failed them. God's prophet, Isaiah, had urged them not to give up hope, but to wait and see what God will do because "…a new king will arise…the spirit of the Lord will give Him wisdom…He will rule His people with justice and integrity." (Isaiah 11:1-5).

We still relish Isaiah's dream of "a peaceable kingdom" when love and peace will replace fear and conflict (Isaiah 11:2-9). As we remember the birth of that new King, Jesus of Nazareth, we "wait on the Lord" with patience and hope. We celebrate His birth with joy. We remember His servant life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection with gratitude. We look forward to the day when He will come again in power and great glory.