let's wait well.
I’m growing tired and weary of waiting.
Waiting for different seasons of my life to happen...waiting for “normal” to return...waiting to see some of His promises fulfilled.
As a nation and even as a world, we are in a season of waiting. Most days it feels like we are at a stand still. Not able to make real plans. Not able to make much progress. Just holding our breath and praying this season passes soon.
We are waiting to have the small joys back.
Friends gathered around our table, giving a hug to our grandparents, being in a church full of people, smiling at strangers with our mouth instead of our eyes.
We are waiting to plan weddings, travel to different countries, know what the future of our career looks like, have our kids back in school, in sports, and hanging out with their friends.
We are all just waiting, and by the looks of people in line at the grocery store and the emotions of the people I talk to, we are all weary of it.
I came across this quote the other day and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it..."Although our disbelief in God's promise will not prevent Him from keeping His word, it will prevent us from experiencing peace while we wait." (Pointing to the Promise)
No matter what we do, He will be faithful and keep His promises. But, in the midst of holding out for His promises to be fulfilled, we get to decide how we wait.
My absolute favorite time of the year is here, and as I melt at the sight of Christmas lights and all things holly and jolly, I am realizing that Advent could not have come at a better time.
Advent is defined as “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event” and comes from the Latin word adventure, which means “coming”.
At the end of Malachi, which was believed to be the last book written of the Old Testament, it says...
“‘See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.’” (Malachi 4:5-6)
After that, there were 400 years of silence.
400 years of waiting for God to fulfill His promise to send a Messiah.
Generations came and went without seeing the fulfilment of His promise. Without hearing anything from their Creator.
Fast forward 400 years...
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were in their later years of life and were childless. During those times, being barren was understood to be a punishment, so I can only imagine the sorrow and shame Zechariah and Elizabeth often felt.
Yet, even in the midst of that confusion, frustration, and sorrow, look at how the Bible describes them.
“Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” (Luke 1:6)
In the middle of waiting...waiting to hear from God...waiting to be with child...waiting to “fit in” and receive a sign that their Creator sees them, they lived a life that honored and glorified Him.
While they were not without sin, they obeyed the commands He had given them and ultimately were seen as “righteous in the sight of God”.
They served Him, loved Him, and honored Him even though He hadn’t given them what they were wanting.
While Zechariah was burning incense, an angel appeared and told him their waiting was finally over.
“‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord,in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’” (Luke 1:13-17)
Elizabeth ends up giving birth to John who prepares the way for our Savior.
Zechariah and Elizabeth could not change, speed up, or dictate the way God chose to fulfill His promise, but they did get to choose how they waited.
They didn’t let their human emotions of frustration, sadness, and confusion dictate how they worshiped, honored, and loved their Creator.
Instead, in spite of all those real and acceptable human emotions, they worshiped, honored, and loved their Creator.
They chose to wait by serving Him. By seeking Him. By being obedient to His commands.
They chose to lean into the only One that could offer them peace in a time of frustration and sadness.
They chose to wait well.
I’m wrestling through this idea of waiting well.
I think we all are.
At the beginning of the 2020 chaos, it was easier to look to Him, His goodness, and His faithfulness and claim His victory over all of it.
But as time has passed, we have grown weary, and we have gotten tired of trying to see the good in all of it. It gets harder to live flexibly and not yell at the person who tells us we can’t get into the store because they are at capacity. Every time we get a text telling us that something else is cancelled or closed, our irritation grows and it’s harder to respond with grace and understanding.
And in some ways, it can get harder to see His faithfulness.
Whether it’s the resolve of the pandemic or another season of waiting you are in, you get to choose.
How will you wait?
Will you let your frustration, annoyance, and sadness speak for you?
Or will you lean into Him, remind yourself of all the times He has been faithful, and choose to rest in His peace? Choose to honor Him. Serve Him. And glorify Him.
Advent is a season of anticipation.
So whether we are anticipating the return of “normal life”, a promise fulfilled, or the coming of our Savior, let’s wait well.
Because He is worthy of that.