If Advent teaches us anything, it is that waiting is the introduction to God’s best gifts.
The stories of waiting in the Bible reveal great stories of perseverance as well as heart-breaking stories of people who would not wait, who pushed their own agendas and paid dearly for it. There was exiled waiting, wilderness waiting, imprisoned waiting, unanswered prayer waiting. Only the people who persevered through waiting received what God had been preparing during their waiting times.
Nothing about the Christmas story came immediately. Waiting is the one thread woven through the whole story. If we only pick it up at its end, we miss one an important lesson. God takes His time. He doesn’t use waiting to frustrate us or make us feel forgotten. God takes His time because He refuses to bring His answers unripened into our lives.
We, on the other hand, are His impatient children. We want something now. But now is the enemy of waiting.
What if we believed that waiting was the first part of God’s answer to whatever prayer we pray? What if we treated waiting as God’s workroom, where He works as an artisan, fashioning a unique answer that will perfectly fit what we need? Then, waiting makes us the clay on the potter’s wheel so that God can shape our desires, our priorities, our very prayers to make us ready for His answer. Purpose-filled waiting helps us pray the prayers God wants to answer.
When we embrace that truth, we become Christmas children where waiting increases excitement for the gift-opening day.
Waiting isn’t a bane, it is a blessing.
However, we cannot trivialize waiting and make it about what we want. We keep our eyes on the Giver, knowing there will be a gift to open.
What are you waiting for? Have you embraced waiting as the first part of God’s answer? While this Christmas may not bring the answer, it will be part of it. Live waiting for God to bring His answer at the right time. It will bring a joy to your world that echoes every message the first participants of Christmas understood.