"Be as calm in your waiting; let your hearts be strong: because the coming of the Lord is near." James 5:8
"The blessedness of waiting is lost on those who cannot wait, and the fulfillment of promise is never theirs. They want quick answers to the deepest questions of life and miss the value of those times of anxious waiting, seeking with patient uncertainties until the answers come. They lose the moment when the answers are revealed in dazzling clarity." Detrich Bonhoeffer
How does God want us to wait? The Bible gives us many examples of "right" waiting....
"When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, His heart was turned to me, and He gave ear to my cry." Psalms 40:1
"And so, as the result of patient waiting, our forefather obtained what God had promised." Hebrews 6:15
"I am waiting for the Lord, my soul is waiting for Him, and my hope is in His Word." Psalms 130:5
So there is quiet waiting, patient waiting, and hopeful waiting.....Let's take a look at how God waits:
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his word, as he seems to some, but he is waiting in mercy for you, not desiring the destruction of any, but that all may be turned from their evil ways." 2 Peter 3:9
"See, I am waiting at the door and giving the sign; if my voice comes to any man's ears and he makes the door open, I will come in to him, and will take food with him and he with ME." Revelation 3:20
He is waiting in mercy and He is also actively waiting
"Now may the God who gives comfort and strength in waiting make you of the same mind with one another in harmony with Christ Jesus…" Romans 15:5
And here we see that He gives comfort and strength while we are waiting!
It is hard to wait. I don't think anyone is really comfortable with it, but it is much better to wait when you have hope in the waiting. Sometimes waiting is absolutely excruciating and stressful. But God wants to teach us to wait calmly and with anticipation to see what He will do in the waiting....that's when we get true value out of the waiting. I think what most people don't like is the fact that we feel that our time is wasted while we are waiting, but the miracle can never happen without a waiting period.
I think my favorite part of the Christmas season is the anticipation of it, the preparation, the waiting. I made a decision a few years ago to minimize what I do so that I can really enjoy the season; to do only those things that bring me or others joy and let the rest slide. I have truly enjoyed every Christmas since then. I sometimes feel myself getting pulled into the undertow, but that is when I stop, pray, get somewhere quiet and readjust my thinking, and BREATHE. It is wonderful. I can't wait to go to Barnes and Noble this weekend, one of my favorite things to do anytime, but especially right before Christmas. I will grab my coffee and a table, get a stack of magazines or books, and watch the crowd rush by.....
May you have peace and courage in whatever you are waiting for this season. Keep your lamp lit and a light in the window for His coming and may your oil not run dry!