If you're like me, I feel like I've been passing myself going in recent days. December tends to be one of the busiest months of the year. Maybe there is a reason why God chose this time to announce “Peace on Earth”. We just need to be still and wait for the Lord. Waiting is one of the major themes of Advent; and we’re not very good at waiting! I am sure that you have heard the desperate prayers, “Give me patience, Lord, and right now!”
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a hard time sitting still, I have a hard time waiting too. What makes it worse is that we live in a time when instant gratification is common. Hungry? There are 24 hour drive thru’s. Want to watch a movie, there is Redbox or Netflix or Hulu. I send a text message to a friend, and they see it almost instantly. We can turn on the news channels and get breaking news as it happens. When we post something on Facebook, we quickly get feedback on how cute our kids pictures are, or whether or not someone agrees with our words. Waiting is tough, being forced to wait is even tougher.
Sometimes we have to wait a long time to see any good come out of a difficult or troubling situation, and sometimes the good comes in unexpected ways. Hasn’t it been your experience that when we wait long enough, when we are patient enough, God acts?
The Psalmist writes, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1) But, it is also written, “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently” (Psalm 37:7a), and, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God's word I hope.” (Psalm 130:5) God is always out ahead of us, God has the answer to our prayers long before we even pray. As much as it might irritate us, it is actually in the waiting that God is working in us!
The Israelites waited for centuries for deliverance from exile in Babylon and centuries more for the promised Messiah. When Jesus finally came, they didn’t recognize him, indicating that they weren’t really waiting for the Lord all the time, but rather they were too busy with their own agenda. Advent only makes us wait four weeks; yet are we any better at recognizing Jesus? Are we too busy with our own agenda and our society's celebration of the holidays to wait for the Lord and actually allow him to work in us during this Advent time of waiting?
Advent means coming, and Jesus tells us at the end of the bible, “Surely I am coming soon!” We have to wait! It can be difficult, but the One for whom we wait, makes all the difference in the world.
“Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”
With the Greatest of Hope!