I don’t wait well – never have, but I’m trying to learn how to do it better. Waiting in line, waiting for an answer, waiting to go on vacation, whatever – I get quite antsy with anticipation, all the while needing to know the outcome. I suppose I could say that it’s a product of living in an instant gratification society – but really that would be an excuse. Sometimes, the waiting is good for us, and can make the end of the wait really special.
Last night, my beloved surprised me with an early Christmas present. He had been telling me for about a week now, that we had to go “get” my gift on Friday, and the only clue I had been given was that I probably wouldn’t want to wear jeans and a T-shirt when we went. Despite my frequent asking, and trying to get him to tell me what we were doing – he didn’t give it away until the last possible minute. Now, I must admit, my curiosity got a hold of me, and I tried very hard to figure it out. I looked at websites for tickets, for concerts – but nothing twigged as something that we might be going to. We left the house, with my still not knowing, all the while my excitement growing. Our final destination was a wonderful surprise, and seeing Canadian jazz artist Emilie-Claire Barlow was an absolute delight. (If you’ve never heard her, check her out on iTunes or YouTube).
Last night’s events got me to thinking…isn’t that just like God? Have you ever been in prayer over a situation in your life, and it seems that God is not answering, or that the answer is coming in stages? I’m in a season like that right now. My last entry told the story of a situation I’ve been praying about for more than a year. God gave part of the answer in a very clear way – but I know that there is more to the answer. I’m waiting, and I’m trying not to jump ahead of where He wants to take me in this. I know that the end will be worth the wait, and will be better than I could imagine for myself.
Waiting on God is not a new thing though, and as we end the first week of Advent, we are once again reminded that God’s people were waiting for the Messiah to arrive and bring true freedom. For hundreds of years, the Saviour promised in the Old Testament seemed not to be coming. It was as if God had fallen silent – but what a wonderful plan He was preparing to bring about. Then, in a very humble shelter – God sent The Answer that the world was waiting for. The plan was better than anyone could have imagined. People had been looking for a grand entrance on a white stallion, who would bear a sword and free them. The gift that arrived was God himself – as a helpless child.
Jesus came so that we could learn from his example, and to experience a real, living relationship with the King of the Universe. And that baby would not only be Saviour to the people he lived among, but all of us! He came to set you and I free. To make a way so that we can live forever in relationship with God. The wait was worth it – more than anyone could have imagined. This advent, don’t lose sight of the importance of waiting. Watch with childlike anticipation for what God has planned for you. Celebrate the coming of the baby born to be King of Kings!