Here is a simple truth for you…there is no joy in waiting. I was reminded of this truth today as I stood in line with half of Omaha trying to get the same bargain I was hoping for. After standing in line with two young children for what felt like an eternity (more like 5 minutes), I realized that no bargain is worth this wait. So I held my head up high and walked away.
There is no joy in waiting, but that’s what we do, we wait. We wait in lines, we wait on hold, we wait in traffic, we wait for the phone to ring, we wait to fall asleep, we wait for a diagnosis, and we wait for healing. What are you waiting for? Maybe you’re waiting for a loved one to return or perhaps you’re waiting for a prayer to be answered. We are all waiting for something: a solution, a deal to go through, a rescue.
This past Sunday (November 27th) marked the beginning of a time of waiting, a season we call Advent. It is when we remember and honor a time of waiting for the arrival of Jesus, the greatest gift ever given to the world. Jesus didn’t arrive without a wait. There were four hundred years of silence between the final prophecies spoken in Malachi and the birth of Jesus. Today, we struggle without an almost immediate response from God. Imagine going 400 years without hearing from Him. Where is God? Was He ever really there? Was my faith in Him a waste of time? Then suddenly “when the fullness of time had come, God sent for his son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). This was it. The wait was over. Jesus was born and became God in human flesh.
It is easy to get caught up in the craziness of the Christmas season leaving us stressed, alone, anxious, joyless, hopeless, and without peace. It doesn’t have to be this way. I love what Henri Nouwen says about this season of waiting, “Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.” You see, waiting is not wasted when we are waiting on Him.
So, whatever your need is, whatever you’re waiting for; remember that the Christmas season is more than just a season of waiting, it is also a season of hope. It is a season of hope because we know that that little baby born in a manger, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, is Immanuel – God with us!