I remember, as a child, waiting with excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning, when we would finally open our presents! The weeks prior to that day were often filled with inquisitive hope. Sometimes my patience would run out and I would shake my wrapped items under the tree or beg my parents to open at least one gift early.
We, as the human race, are not so good at waiting either are we? I doubt waiting has ever been easy, but it seems especially difficult in our world of fast food, wifi internet, instant downloads, and text messages. We are conditioned to want immediate action, responses, and results.
Even David felt the overwhelming difficulty of waiting for the Lord to reply to his prayers...
Psalm 13 - How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes,or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But, God never forgets us.God just takes a longer view. I have so much to learn about HIS view, as I tend to ask the very same questions that David asked....But, then David writes...
Psalm 27:14 - Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 130:5 - I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
I came across this song on Youtube and it seems to express these questions (and the answer) so well...
Advent is a time of waiting...The word Advent itself means “arrival,” but it’s not just any arrival — it’s The Arrival. Advent is not only about waiting for a baby to be born or for it to be Christmastime again. It is about waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise. It is the groaning of man in search for our everlasting hope, Emmanuel. Advent is the coming of hope to the hopeless.a season that serves as a reminder both of the original waiting by Israelites for the birth of the Messiah, and the waiting by Christians for the return of Christ.
Sometimes we wait with eager anticipation; other times we wait with heavy burdens. Sometimes waiting is painful, or boring, or feels never-ending.
But, God calls us to wait with:
- Hope - We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. (Romans 15:12-13)
- Anticipation - At Christmas, we anticipate the final moment that we celebrate Christ's birth. For all believers this also means to cultivate an eager expectation of Jesus’ return!
- Joy - This often isn't easy to have, when we are waiting for something! We can lose our focus, our patience, and forget His promises to us. But, we are called to be joyful in "all" circumstances.(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Readiness - Whether it is being ready to truly prepare our hearts for the celebration of Advent (Christ's birth) or for His return...as in the parable of the ten virgins(Matthew 25:1-12), may we be be ready.
- Longing - We long for Him who will bring the light of day and shatter the darkness of sin and death, and we look for His coming as eagerly as the watchman looks for the first rays of dawn in the eastern skies.
- Faith - Advent is also a spiritual journey that Christians take, through the truths of Scripture that point to the birth of the Messiah, to a reaffirmation that He has come, is present in the world today and will come again in glory. It mirrors the journey of faith that Christians make after that moment of realisation and acceptance of who Jesus is.
Often, enduring the pain of waiting is a spiritual discipline that we must cultivate, as we learn to wait on God.
This season, may you let yourself fall into the anticipation of Advent, the season that understands the longing and loneliness and long nights of expecting—the season where what was empty is filled, what was broken is repaired, and what was lost is found.
Linking over to these blog hops: