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Waiting and Expecting

Hal Habecker

Dec 20

“Christmas and Waiting” The 24th Day of Advent

When I think of waiting at Christmas I think first of children having to wait for Christmas day to open presents. They simply cannot wait. It’s hard to wait.

One of our biggest hurdles in life is waiting. If you are like me, waiting is a challenge.

  • Waiting at a traffic light when you are in a hurry

  • Waiting in a line at the grocery store

  • Waiting on medical reports

  • Waiting for a sermon to end when the preacher seems to drone on and on

  • Waiting for a game to finish – one that goes back and forth and won’t be decided until the final minutes

  • Waiting out a traffic jam in which you are stuck

  • Waiting on information which you think will help you make a decision

  • Waiting on the healing process after cancer surgery (or any surgery)

  • Waiting for grief and sadness in time of loss to work its way through your life

  • Waiting through a difficult period in your marriage or family, wondering how, if, or when things will work out

  • Waiting through sleepless nights wishing you could speed up the dawn

  • Waiting on seeing relatives that live far away

  • Waiting of God to work in a prodigal child’s life

The list could go on. If you think about it, Christmas is a period of waiting.

  • 400 hundred silent years between the last prophet of the Old Testament and the angel’s appearance in a vision to Zacharias, and that’s just the time between the Testaments

  • Consider the 8 centuries between Isaiah’s prophecies and the birth of Messiah

  • Joseph’s anxious moments wondering what to do about Mary’s news of being pregnant by the Holy Spirit

  • Mary waiting 9 months to give birth to the Son of God – what would He look like – how would it feel to hold God’s very Son in her arms

  • How long would Mary have to wait until the sword which Simeon prophesied would pierce her

  • How long would Joseph and Mary have to stay in Egypt until they could return to Nazareth

Christmas is about waiting. Life is about waiting. Aging is about waiting. The spiritual life is about waiting. Waiting is so hard as we all believe somewhat in instant gratification. We want to get there and finish the task so we can get home.

But God’s work in time cannot be hurried. He created time and He ordained that life will take time, just like Christmas took time. Christmas reminds us that God is not in a hurry. We are being conformed to Him and His purposes through waiting. Learn to wait. Patience. Wait patiently and expectantly. He will act. He is acting even now in our waiting.

I also think of waiting in this yet again Covid season. For a moment we thought we might have been done, but it continues now with Omicron. How long will we wait until it’s past? If you are diagnosed with Covid, you wait in isolation until you will be able to hug you family again? If you have Covid and need hospitalization, how long will it be until God answers your prayers for healing? For those who have died with Covid this year, I have prayed for their strength as they waited on the Lord to enter heaven.

We learn the lessons of eternal significance while we wait. Don’t miss them.
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40.31).

Just don’t make your children and grandchildren wait too long on Christmas morning. Go ahead and at least open some presents on Christmas Eve.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the birth of Christ. He will come! But we have waited expectantly for 24 days.

Happy Tuesday, December 20, the 24th Day of Advent!

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