Advent Devotional

Open Hands * Advent Devotional

vleyu1v7zn0-jeremy-bishopAnna Thelen is a doula, nanny, and budding Anglican who lives in Chicagoland. She helped bring our firstborn into the world and has been one of my dearest friends ever since. 

Isaiah 55:1 (NIV)

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

The season of Advent can be one consumed by busy. There are so many To Do’s that celebrating can often feel like work. Finding gifts, wrapping gifts, eight thousand holiday  parties to attend and throw, family to enjoy (and sometimes hide from) to name just a few things.

In the midst of all this good busy there is God’s invitation to us to come, to receive his lavish gifts from his hand without cost and without prerequisites.

I find this invitation a bit hard to swallow myself, in a season of personal fragility and need. How do I allow him to fill my open hands with himself?

Sounds risky. Sounds a bit unbalanced. Shouldn’t I have to earn this? Shouldn’t it be harder? More work? Wouldn’t any God worth his salt require more of me?

God specifically says, “You who have no money…” He invites you and I to receive his abundance “without cost.”

Clearly this should cost something. Time, effort, my blood and tears.

Yet God says he will satiate our thirst, and fill our hunger, without thought to what it will cost him. What it should cost us.

This Advent he once again promises to give us his precious son.

Not just on December 25th but this year, all year. This week. This day. This hour. This breath and the next he is giving us himself.

This season I’ve been asking for the grace to receive him. To trust him. For him to fill all the thirsty, empty, hard and beautiful spaces within me.

He is answering, giving himself in the tiniest of gifts and sweetest of gestures, meals shared with friends, the aroma of our Christmas tree as I enter the house, conversations with dear ones, laughter with siblings, and unexpected hugs.

In the silence and solitude of prayer, the sweet and jumbled ramblings and baby kisses of the kiddos I nanny. I see Jesus here, in all of these and more.

Where are you crying out to be filled? What are your thirsty places this season? What aches so deep within you to be filled?

Will you come?

Come to the Living Water?

Open your hands and trust somehow, someway he will fill them full of Himself?

Will we believe and trust that He will fill all the aches and hopes that surround this month of waiting and celebration?


Anna Thelen is a doula, photographer, nanny, yoga instructor, scone baker, and budding Anglican who lives in Chicagoland. Find more on her doula services here, and check out her post on how married people can love singles from September.

One thought on “Open Hands * Advent Devotional

  1. Pingback: Light Bearer

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