Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Hope in Waiting … some reflections on Advent

Photo courtesy of 9comeback/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There’s something both exciting and tremendously nerve-wracking when we press the send button on the email that whisks the latest manuscript off to a publisher. Exciting? The project we’ve been working on has now reached a point of completion. In my case that project had consumed a lot of my mind space for the past three years.

Nerve-wracking? Will they like it? Enough to publish it? What if they don’t? What will I do then?

It’s a moment that is soon forgotten.

And then we wait.

And wait some more.

A few months later an email arrives outlining your manuscript is still in the game. Being reviewed by some others. They liked it sufficiently to pass onto others. Great.

And then we wait.

And wait some more.

As I shared with a writing friend recently: the Lord's got it in His big capable hands. Waiting helps us lean on Him more. And that's what I've tried to do. Keep writing, keep hoping, keep knowing He's looking after the situation irrespective of whether I receive a positive response or not. 

We are People who Wait

We authors wait a lot. It’s part of the fabric of being an author. I expect it’s one of the reasons self-publishing has become so popular: the author takes greater control over the end product and can manage the timeline.

We know all those feelings that come with waiting. The frustration, angst, discouragement, hopelessness. After waiting we (our work, that is) might be rejected. Again. And again. And again. We know the drill because it’s part of our lives. For some of us we’ve waited a long time and may continue to.

Advent is a time of waiting. The name Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” Beginning each year on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (the Sunday before last), Advent commemorates the birth of Jesus and also anticipates His return. As Ann Voskamp says we are “perpetual Advent people” waiting on Christ’s return.

The Branch Gives us Hope

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;

    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)

Advent is all about hope. In who is coming.

We can believe in that hope. Because He did come 2,000 years ago on that Christmas morn, born in a feed trough, son to a teenage mom and her husband.

We can believe in that hope. Because He has come to us. He is in us and we are in Him.

We can believe in that hope. Because He has told us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). Even when our work gets rejected. Repeatedly.

He understands us. Really, truly! Because He has chosen each one of us.

"He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11 NIV)

Choose to remember Him when the enemy throws the darts of rejection or doubt at you, when he tries to take away your joy in the One we celebrate.

Draw near to Jesus as He is the most compassionate Shepherd, gathering and carrying us, His lambs, in His arms. Such a wonderful image isn't it?

I hope you are able to spend some time in the next few weeks reflecting on the hope of Advent. On Jesus. Allow His Words to “dwell in your richly.”

Wishing all of my ICFW friends a blessed Advent season full of childlike hope and anticipation.

Grace and peace,

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Angelguard won the 2013 Selah Award for Speculative Fiction. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. Beautifully written, Ian! I hope you hear some good news soon!

  2. A beautiful comparison, Ian. I've tried to change my thinking over the years from always waiting, to living in the moment, but it isn't always easy! And yet waiting on His return is a waiting process that does give us hope. And what makes it even more beautiful is the fact that as we wait, He didn't leave us alone!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Lisa. It's so good that He's with us at every step.

      Bless ...