Written by Jolene DeHeer
Here we are…in the middle of Advent, a time of waiting.
In addition to waiting to celebrate the birth of our King, we also wait with eager expectation to the time when He will come back in glory. But waiting is hard in a culture that specializes in instant gratification. Yet, so much of life is waiting and many of us are not very good at it. We wait to grow up, to go to college, to get married, to get a job, to start a family, to be financially secure, for our children to grow up, and to finally retire. Waiting is especially hard if the future is unsure or if you are seeking God’s will for your life and He seems silent. We’d almost rather have a “no” answer than a “wait.”
We ask ourselves, “What reason would God have for asking us to wait all the time?”
DietrichBonhoeffer wrote, “Celebrating Advent means learning how to wait.… Not all can wait – certainly not those who are satisfied, contented, and feel that they live in the best of all possible worlds! Those who learn to wait are uneasy about their way of life, but yet have seen a vision of greatness in the world of the future and are patiently expecting its fulfillment (“Christmas Sermons”).
Perhaps these times of waiting can be times of great blessing…times when we catch a glimpse of the glory that lies ahead.
To me, being asked to wait is like being asked to go into the dessert for preparation like Moses, Paul, or Jesus. It is not particularly pleasant, but it is exceptionally beneficial. I have discovered that when we go away to that desert of waiting, often the only companion we have is God. It is in the desert we discover that He is enough. If we choose to, we can also discover that these waiting experiences are excellent opportunities for God to further work out His story in our life. We might think, “This is as good as it gets”or, “there just couldn’t be more garbage to deal with,” only to discover God wasn’t finished developing His character in us yet.
We needed to wait in the desert for His grace to work in and through us. When I first started speaking, I loved it so much I immediately wanted to be fully employed speaking all over the world and very famous. Of course, I was not ready for that spiritually or emotionally nor was God done writing my story. Since that time, His grace has been revealed in so many more ways and with such power that the story I have today is more God-glorifying and effective.
I would like to suggest that we all work at embracing opportunities to wait on the Lord, to receive these desert journeys as occasions for spiritual growth and discipline. When we choose to wait for God’s perfect timing in our lives, we express our loving submission to His will. We offer Him something He cherishes, our obedience. When we spend time waiting for God, our faith has an opportunity to mature, our trust is strengthened, hope is realized, peace fills our souls, and we discover true joy.
So, in this Advent season as we wait to celebrate Christ’s birth, as we wait for the second coming, and as we wait for our lives to unfold, I invite you to appreciate the opportunity to accept whatever “waiting” God lays before you. Let’s not fight against it, complain about it, or run from it. While we wait, let’s celebrate being in the presence of the One who loves us more than we can comprehend.
“If God is making you wait, then be prepared to receive more than what you asked for.”Ashish Kataria