Nobody likes to wait. Waiting frustrates us, and even infuriates us. We honk our horns, we roll our eyes, we complain, we change lanes, and even change our plans. I admit that I am guilty. When I change lanes in crowded traffic, I am always aware of where I would have been if I had stayed in my original lane. The same is true in choosing a check out lane in a store. I do not do well if I “just miss” every traffic light, even if I am in no hurry to get to where I am going. I don’t know what it is, but most of us hate to wait. We used to have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to get the “Black Friday” sales, but not anymore. Not only do many stores open on Thanksgiving Day, but this year I saw “Black Friday” deals available over a week before Thanksgiving! Neither the shoppers nor the retailers like to wait!
In the Spirit of Waiting
As we begin to look and plan and think about the Christmas season, I am reminded of how Christmas is a yearly expression of the ultimate experience of waiting. As a kid, it was waiting for the whole month to pass until it was time for Christmas presents. It was waiting all night Christmas Eve in anticipation of Santa Claus. Those were long days and long nights.
But I also think of how the whole of creation was waiting on the Savior, from the time of Genesis 3 until the birth of Christ. And then God acted. It says in the book of Galatians that,
“In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son...”
The implication of that is three-fold. First, sometimes God intends for us to wait. God did not send forth His Son until a certain time. Before that, we waited. Second, we don’t wait in vain. We have a “hope that does not disappoint,” and as we wait on God to act in any and every situation, we can wait in the assurance of knowing that God is absolutely, altogether faithful. Not only do we not wait in vain, but God does not waste anything. Patience is a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit, and an expression of faith which pleases God. He uses waiting to develop trust, contentment, peace, and a realization that He alone is enough.
The Fullness of Time
Finally, Christ coming in the fullness of time reminds us that God always acts perfectly. He is not slow, but He is patient, and He always acts in that “Kairos” moment - translated “the fullness of time.” It means the time that is perfect, the moment of fullness... The time of perfect ripeness, when full potential is realized. The time comes…..the right time……the absolute perfect time…….not too early and not too late…..and God acts. And the result is Christmas. And redemption.
Eventually, we realize that it is so worth the wait. This Christmas season, be reminded that though waiting is tough, God is using the time of waiting and will act in the perfect moment. In that moment, we will not be disappointed.
Every time of waiting on God, in faith,
ends with a Merry Christmas moment.
When Norival's parents asked him and wife, Cristina, to join them in Paraguay, they were unaware of the seed that had been planted for God's plan just five days earlier! Check out how his parents helped pave the way for their life in missions.
As we begin the Christmas season, we are reminded of how Christmas is a yearly expression of the ultimate experience of waiting. As kids, we were waiting the entire month for Christmas morning but think back to the excitement of waiting waiting on the Savior!!
It's easy to give thanks to the Lord when things are going well, but how often do we give that same thanks during rough times? Give thanks to the Lord, and pray without ceasing.
Are we actually doing more harm than good by doing nothing at all? Do we hurt those in need by taking no action at all? It's time for us to do stand up and do something!
While we may not love what we see in the mirror, most of us would never leave home without first checking our appearance to make sure everything was in order. Paul also instructed the Corinthians to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves" (II Cor. 13:5).
The idea of making a joyful noise to the Lord is often associated with singing, but our "noises" don't always have to be audible. When we live a life pleasing to God, we truly begin living loud.
We all have personal struggles we cannot always understand or control, but God is not overwhelmed by our chaos. Where are you at in your walk with God?
Our neighbor’s house, spouse, servant or ox would be no temptation if we were truly and completely content in our circumstances and life situations. It is as though we could rephrase the tenth commandment by saying, “Be content.”
The deeper and broader we look, the more we can see the hand of God moving over the earth in power and authority. How do you see God at work in the world?
We all go through periods of "dryness" in our spiritual lives, those times in the dry desert when we feel empty, alone, and far from God. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, the remedy for spiritual dryness is quite simple.
Maybe even the worst of times aren't far from the best of times when we trust our unfailing God all of the time. Do you believe God is working all things together for your good?
Like sheep, we have gone astray, but we aren't just any sheep, we are the sheep of His pasture.