Advent 18: Psalm 37 & Colossians 4:2-6

From Sam Hine

“Be still and wait patiently for the Lord…fret not yourself over; it tends only to evil…in just a little while, the wicked will be no more.”

I read the words of the Psalmist and wonder how he practices this kind of patience before God. And I wonder if he writes these words in a moment of tranquility, then pens the more vengeful and anguished psalms when he’s hard-pressed.

Fortunately, God’s Word can absorb more than a little cynicism. I read Paul writing to the Colossians to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (4:2)—and note that Paul writes these words from prison.

Approaching Advent for me can be daunting. I long to experience God’s peace—peace that the Psalmist recommends and Paul seems to possess. And yet I find myself far from that. What to do?

It’s small—but I think I can hear Paul’s words and approach Advent by giving thanks. I thank God for my longing to experience his presence, thank God that He’s already at work in my weakness, thank God for the many ways that He promises to continue to sustain me and all His people.

As I give thanks, as I thank God that He’s already with me and meeting me, I am freed to lift up my brothers and sisters. I can pray that God strengthens the many refugees we remembered this past Sunday.  I pray that God nourishes the “least of these” around the world and fills them with the hope that, “In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” (Psalm 37:10-11).

I a member of a L’Arche community north of Boston. I love to explore, read, spend time with my family in Georgia, and rest.