Work the Soil * Advent Devotional

p0rr_3xc988-forrest-cavaleDana Pierce Herndon is middle school teacher, loving kids during a really important, transitional time in their lives. Anyone who does that for a living is pretty awesome in my book. Welcome, Dana!

Isaiah 61:11 (NIV)

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

What beautiful imagery this verse contains! A vision of the whole world rising to praise the Lord. How wonderful that will be!

In our everyday lives we often get tiny glimpses of this verse, of people coming together, crossing what seem like great divides to worship the Lord. These worshipful scenes become more prevalent during the Christmas season.

Children (and a lot of adults) wait anxiously for Christmas to arrive­—for good reason. Christmas means parties, family gatherings, beautiful lights, stunning decorations, and a general sense of goodwill all around.

Most importantly Christmas means the celebration of the Savior.

Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means arrival. Christians celebrate Advent as the season leading up to the arrival of the Savior. Children countdown to Christmas with Advents calendars, joyously looking forward to Christmas Day.

More people celebrate Jesus at Christmastime than other times throughout the year. While I wish that people would celebrate him all year, I like to think about the positives: The story of the Lord, the Good News, gets out into world on a large scale around Christmastime.

“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and garden causes seeds to grow . . .”

Both my husband and I had grandfathers who were farmers. They loved to till the soil, plant seeds, and lovingly tend to their gardens. Eventually, those tiny little seeds they planted bloomed into towering plants. However, the results were not instantaneous. They had to wait, watch, and work in the garden.

Like the farmer with his garden, we need to be working while we are waiting. Waiting need not be doing nothing.

Waiting can be tedious and frustrating. We may feel hopeless as we wait for things to change and nothing does. But we should not despair.

The Lord promises all the nations will rise up and praise Him. The Lord’s promises are always true.

We can use this time of waiting to tend to the garden of the world.

While waiting may not be one of our strengths—I know it is not one of mine—we need to remember it takes time and care for plants to grow tall and strong.

What can you do in this time of waiting, during Advent and other seasons, to tend the soil and serve the Lord?


Dana Herndon is a writer and blogger as well as an elementary and middle school teacher. She and her husband live in Georgia with their three children. In addition to teaching and writing, Dana loves to spend time with her family, read, watch Food Network and HGTV, paddle-board, and be by at the lake or beach as much as possible. She blogs at


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