The wait is over. Today is the day after Christmas and all of the excitement and anticipation that has been building for the last few weeks has been assuaged. Presents have been opened, dinners consumed, and company enjoyed. We worshiped together as church families, as family units, and as individuals to celebrate the birth of God coming to earth in the form of a baby boy named Jesus. Our hearts are filled with joy and hope. It has been a good Christmas. The blessings have been many and we are filled with gratitude. We are also thankful the waiting is over.
Yet, the waiting continues. Yes, the anticipation of celebrating Christ’s first coming is over, but we continue to wait with eager expectation for His second coming. That time when the trumpet sounds and we see him coming on the clouds of glory. That time when we will be gathered up into His presence, all separations will be removed, and we will see Him face to face. That time where there will be no more tears, no more sorrow. That time when time itself no longer matters – only eternity in His presence. Oh, how I long for that time…..but I have to wait.
Many, if not most of us, do not like that “four letter” word – wait. We live in a culture of almost instant gratification. Waiting in line at the bank or waiting in a traffic jam can annoy us greatly, but they don’t begin to compare to the frustrations of waiting for the really important stuff: the healing of a loved one, family members to come to salvation, restoration of broken relationships, wisdom for which college or job offer to take, financial security, peace among nations, and the list goes on and on. I think it’s safe to say, we are all waiting for something and it’s not always pleasant.
Giving up control of our lives and trusting God to work out His plan is one of the more difficult things we are asked to do. I find it particularly difficult to let go of being sure my family is happy, healthy, and following God’s plan for them. Fortunately, God keeps reminding me again and again, that He’s got them covered. He loves them more than I do. His grace is sufficient for them. His plan will prosper them and not harm them, give them hope and a future. So I find myself coming back to the cross time after time to place each of them God’s arms….. and then I wait. In that time of waiting I discover anew the scope of God’s grace and mercy. As I choose to wait, the Holy Spirit fills me with hope, faith, trust and peace. I wish I could tell you that I have learned my lesson about the value and importance of waiting on God, but I continue to have to learn the blessings of letting go, trusting, and waiting. In the process of waiting I discover another gift of grace: waiting and trusting draws me closer to the presence of my Abba – and that is glorious place to wait. Come, my friend, join me as we wait together.
But as we wait, we need to ask ourselves a question, “What are we going to do while we wait?” Certainly there is an aspect to waiting that is about complete stillness, rest and calm. On the other hand there is a responsibility we have as we wait: to be obedient to God’s call on our lives. Jesus’ last words to us were, “Go into all the world…” Just as Jesus realized at an early age what He must do, we need to be about our Father’s business – the business of spreading the good news of salvation through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. We get to be His ministers of reconciliation helping people to be restored into a right relationship with God as they experience the forgiveness of sins. We are His ambassadors, speaking on behalf of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, helping people find the Light of the World in a dark, broken society. We get to be His righteousness, bringing mercy and justice to the oppressed and hopeless. Oh, yes, there is much to do while we wait. Perhaps as you consider the new year that will begin soon, you can take time to think about what God is calling you to do. Then as you go to the cross with your anxiety, concerns and worries and give them to God trusting Him to handle them, you will be free wait for His return when all will be made new and you will be free to be an important part of bringing His kingdom now.
Happy New Year, dear reader! May these words of 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 inspire you to be about His business as you wait for His coming. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” I pray this year be filled with many opportunities to be a blessing to others and bring glory to God. I can barely wait to see what He is going to do. 🙂