One of the most common things that people pray for is patience. We struggle when we have to wait for things. Sometimes we are waiting eagerly. Other times we wait with frustration and grumbling.
Waiting is hard.
Yet today, on the first Sunday of the 2018 church season of Advent, we have an opportunity to practice waiting well.
Advent is a season on the church calendar that builds up to Christmas Day, a season in which we expectantly wait and prepare for his coming at the Nativity and his coming again at the Second Coming. There were 400 years of silence between Israel’s prophets of old and the birth of the Messiah. There have already been 2,000 years between the Messiah’s death, resurrection, and ascension and his promised return.
And so, we wait.
During the season of Advent, many pastors encourage special, intentional time in the Holy Scriptures, in prayer, and in special holiday family activities. We light the Advent candles, turn the pages on our Advent calendars, and pray for God’s Kingdom to come.
Beyond the season of Advent, we know that we will still wait. Some of these will be joyful seasons of anticipation, and others will be fearful season of pain and trial. These are the moments that shape our characters so that we look more and more like Jesus.
Even when Christmas is not the end of that month’s calendar, we will wait well if we fix our eyes on him. We will wait well if we look for his presence, call upon his Spirit, and expectantly pray for his return. Come, Lord Jesus.
Earlier this year, I read an article called Waiting Gains in World Magazine. Since then, I have printed copies for many clients in the counseling room, and have hung the magazine article on my refrigerator at home. “It’s hard to wait faithfully, but the process builds godly character,” the tagline tells us. Amen.
Waiting is hard, but it is necessary.
I hope and pray that this Advent season, there is much time for reflection on Jesus, his coming and his eventual Second Coming. But even more than this, I hope and pray that whatever seasons of waiting you endure in 2019, you will still reflect on Jesus. Fix your eyes upon Him. The waiting will not end on Christmas morning, because God is not done with us yet.