I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14 ESV)
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which translates as arrival, appearance, to come, to approach. And so, during Advent, we await the coming of the Lord. We sure do wait a lot during this time of year don’t we? Waiting for the right sale to go shopping. Waiting in line at the store. Kids waiting for Christmas break, parents waiting for kids to go back to school. We await the first snow. We wait for trucks to plow the roads. We wait for company that said they would arrive 35 minutes ago. Wait, wait, wait… We do so much of it!
We’re not good at waiting. We lose our patience easily. When we pray for patience, the Lord, in His mercy, convinces the Wal-Mart manager to close all but two checkout lanes. I’ve learned to stop praying for patience, because the Lord keeps putting me in situations where he wants me to develop it. Waiting is hard. It’s hard for kids (ever tried entertaining three kids in a waiting room?) to wait, but truthfully, it’s just as hard for us as adults.
And so, it’s only appropriate that God gives us a season lasting 4-6 weeks, depending on your tradition, for us to focus on the waiting. Waiting is good for us. See, too often we rush right through something and we miss out on the significance. We go too quickly. And God says, “Hey, you! Slow down. Stop and smell the manger. Wait for my Son. Wait for my plan. Easy, there.”
As I write this, I am in Pomeroy’s hottest new café, River Roasters. I forget how long I had been waiting for this place to open but it seemed easily to be a couple of years. In fact, I had been waiting for a full-service coffee shop in Pomeroy for years, long before Larry and Candice made their intentions known. Some people thought we had to wait too long. Others got disillusioned as the opening date seemed so far away. One guy I know still refuses to come because he said he waited too long for them to open.
But the wait has been worth it. I have a place to come and read, do my devotions, study, and work outside of my busy home. Caffeine, cronuts, and company… It’s something that I love! And my friend who said he waited too long? He’s simply missing out on the blessing that has arrived.
Look, I realize that the coming of Christ is far more significant than the opening of a coffee shop. The blessings afforded in knowing Christ Jesus far FAR outweigh the benefits of this place. But for me, the metaphor has worked. Good things can happen. God things can happen. But it almost always involves waiting. And when we give up waiting, or decide to ignore the waiting altogether, we miss out on the blessing that God gives.
God’s people waited for thousands of years for the Messiah. We wait still for the 2nd coming of Christ when He will make all things right and all things new. So what do we do in the waiting? We rely on the strength that God gives us.
We do a lot waiting. Lots of our lives will be spent inline, on hold, watching out the window, checking our devices. But that gives us plenty of opportunity to draw closer to the One on who’s timetable we wait. I’d like to end with a verse from Lamentations, 3:25—
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
Adam Will is a native of Meigs County, residing in the Texas Community with his wife and three children. He is the Lead Pastor of Mount Hermon United Brethren in Christ Church. He loves reading, engaging with others, and seeing people transformed by following Jesus. You can dialogue with him by emailing [email protected] , or listen to his messages by going to Mount Hermon’s website at www.mounthermonub.org .Find his blog at www.adamwill.net