I tweeted that yesterday. It is where my heart is right now. I was thinking about my family’s current state of limbo as we wait for the Lord to reveal to us where we are to move, and while we wait for our house to sell. Super-spiritual, right? I failed to realize it was posted on the first Sunday in Advent. This morning, the irony slapped me in the face.
Advent is a season for waiting. It is meant to instill in us the feeling the Israelites had in waiting for the Messiah to come, to fan into flame the anticipation of all things being made right. It is intended to remind us not only of the first coming of Christ, but to get us to look up in anticipation as we wait for His second coming.
For my kids, it’s the official countdown to Christmas, and a severe test of waiting. Just this morning, my boy wanted to go to Target to get a new Lego set. When I told him he’d have to wait until Christmas, 4 whole weeks from now, he replied “But that takes sooooo loooooong!”
My sentiments exactly, son. I feel like I’ve had the same conversation with the Lord lately.
“Lord, where are we to go?”
Wait, and I will show you.
“Lord, please send a buyer for this house!”
Wait, and I will send them.
“Lord do we go right or left?”
Wait, and you’ll find out.
That’s just a snippet of the running conversation I’m having with God. To be honest, I’m struggling, y’all. If you’ve followed us so far on this journey, it’s involved a lot of waiting, but nothing like right now. It’s required obedience in stepping out from our comfort zone, taking a leap of faith. But honestly, all that was nothing like the obedience required to continue to wait. I’m a guy, we like action, getting up and doing is the easy part. Waiting is not.
Waiting is a part of what we do. And we are usually terrible at it. Like my son waiting for the opening of presents on Christmas Day, we protest at the slightest of perceived delays: the slow guy in front of us on the way to work, the long line at the checkout counter. Or less trivial, the test results to come in, the call back on the interview, the son or daughter to come home at 3 am.
Scripture is filled with waiting. Abraham waited until all hope in human means of having a son was extinguished. Joseph waited in Pharoah’s dungeon for a couple servants to remember him. The disciples waited in the upper room for the promise of the Spirit to come.
The Psalms repeatedly speak of waiting:
“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” Psalm 37:7
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.” Psalm 130:5
And who can forget the most familiar verse on waiting in the Bible, Isaiah 40:31:
“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
And throughout the Old Testament runs the scarlet thread of waiting for the One who would crush the serpent’s head and redeem His people from the power of sin, death and the grave.
As a Christian, I’m continually faced with the hypocrisy in my heart over what I say and sing about God’s sovereignty and my inability to trust Him, to hope in Him, as I wait. Is He sovereign? Then the timing of our house selling and the revealing of our next home is up to Him, and I can wait on Him in peace knowing that. Is He faithful? Then I can trust that the things He is calling us to will come to pass.
I hope not in circumstances, though that’s easy to do. I hope not in man, and I certainly hope not in myself. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”