Waiting. If we could only use one word to describe Christians during advent, this would be it. We are waiting for the birth of Jesus - waiting expectantly, not casually or hopelessly. There is excitement in the air, as we know that what we long for is coming with hope and fulfillment.
Sadly, in our culture we have lost the ability to wait. It is a muscle that has atrophied, even in the body of the church. Yes, even in church we have a “hurry up” mentality – deadlines for pledging, volunteering, registering … when are we ever encouraged to wait? Do we have any time during corporate worship where we can wait on the Lord together? Or are we hurried through the program of worship so that the pastors are ready for the next service and we can grab a coffee before dashing off to bible study?
Do we wait in our personal spiritual lives? Do we wait to listen to what God has to say to us, or are we just hurrying through our “worry list” when we pray? Do we wait in silence, patiently, with the phone off, EXPECTING to hear from God?
Often today, the times when we have to wait are associated with stress – waiting for test results, waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery, waiting to hear about a college acceptance, waiting for a job interview. No-one enjoys these times.
But if you are a gardener, a farmer, a chef or a wine maker, you will appreciate waiting expectantly. Any woman who’s been pregnant knows all about this! It is when the outcome is expected and longed for – flowers, crops or animals to reach maturity, wine or beer to ferment, cakes and bread to rise and of course, babies to be born.
So, are you waiting expectantly this Advent? Are you taking some time out of your day to spend waiting on God?
Let’s practice waiting this Advent.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37: 7
“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130: 5