Waiting on God's Coming...
So, today I have been thinking about waiting…waiting for advent…waiting for God…waiting for God to come in power and peace and majesty into my life.
Like most people (especially most Americans) I don’t like waiting. I’m not good at waiting. I get anxious, bored, tired, frustrated and sometimes even angry when I have to wait. I want what I want now. And you know when this gets even worse...? It gets worse when I feel like what I want is a GOOD thing. That’s when I really have a hard time waiting on God to act. When what I want would make my life better, would make the lives of people I love better, would make the world better….when what I want would bring God’s kingdom in more fullness, would heal a hurt, would mend a wrong…when what I want is God to come and act in his great and merciful goodness…and He doesn’t…and I have to wait…that’s when it gets hard.
I was imagining being Israel today…waiting on God’s salvation…God’s salvation from slavery…wanting to be free from Egypt’s rule is a good thing, right? So, why wait for it? Why doesn’t God just come down and do it right away? I don’t know the answers to those questions but I know that God didn’t just come down and free them right away…they had to wait. Then they were taken into captivity by their neighbors and Jerusalem was destroyed and they again had to wait…wait for God to restore them and repair their hearts and home. But, perhaps the thing that they had to wait the longest for…really that the whole world was waiting for since the beginning of creation was the coming of God’s Messiah. They longed and waited for salvation, to be re-united with God. That is a beautiful desire. So, why did God make them wait? I’m not sure. But, it seems like God is about delayed gratification. It seems like He likes to give us situations that challenge us to wait on Him.
A friend today was talking about how lighting the advent candle each day is a practice in delayed gratification for her – you only light one candle each week. It got me thinking. We can’t rush through advent. We can’t light all the candles at once. We can’t jump to celebrating Christ’s coming. Advent is a place for entering into and experiencing the waiting of God’s people. In advent we practice the discipline of waiting…the discipline of delayed gratification. Yes, our savior has come, but during this time I am brought to remember that He is still coming…and I wait for his coming in my every day, day to day life. I wait for Him to come and permeate my life more and more until the day when I become fully His. I still don’t enjoy waiting for God to make all things right…I want it right now…but, in the discipline of advent I join in practicing waiting patiently for God to show up, for God to come.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman