I have heard that if you live to be seventy years old, you will spend three years of your life just waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in the doctor's office, waiting for lunch to be ready, waiting, just waiting.
In his book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go," Dr. Seuss talks about a place called "the waiting place." He describes it as a useless place where people are just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Jesus talked about waiting in relation to his return - the second Advent:
Mark 13:32-37 (NIV)
32 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.
34 It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35 "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.
36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"
Advent is a season of expectancy and waiting. Christmas is almost here. The celebration of Jesus' coming - Immanuel, God with us - is already here. We celebrate with decorations, with candles, music, gifts, lights, etc...but it is not just for NOW, it is also an expectancy and hope that Jesus will return to earth in all of his glory, and God's power and majesty will bring His Kingdom to fullness upon the earth.
In the meantime, we wait...with hope, and faith that God will come...and sometimes that is just for our own self.
Waiting is often uncomfortable, simply because it seems so useless. Sometimes though waiting is uncomfortable because it's outside of our control, and it is dominated by fear.
Some are waiting right now with that in place.
Waiting for a child to be born, while hoping all will be well;
waiting for a mate to be discovered, while not being sure how or when that will occur;
waiting in hope that the treatments while work, while holding off fear that they won't;
waiting for the job to come, while doing resumes and searching the job lines everyday;
waiting for healing to finally come, while walking down the road of recovery;
waiting for reconciliation, or forgiveness, and yet experiencing distance;
waiting for the pain to go away, but living with it every day.
There are so many difficult ways that we wait.
The Old Testament Prophet Micah said:
Micah 7:7 (NIV)
7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Advent is a season of expectancy, of watching, of waiting. Go ahead and buy those presents, sing carols, decorate and enjoy; but remember that we are waiting for Jesus and it is He who is our hope. That hope is real to us - whether present or elusive - every day of our lives.
We can wait in hope...our God has come and will come again. While we wait for him, my prayer is that we will not forget that he comes to, and for us, over and over again every day of our life.
May God fill you with joy, faith, hope and love as you wait for Him.