Every year in the days leading up to Christmas, there is a season called Advent, which observed the period of expectant waiting for the birth of Christ. Waiting is not something we in the 21st Century excel at doing. In a day and age where everything is near instantaneous, the span of time we are able to wait patiently is almost non-existent. The idea of waiting on someone else’s timing is also never really an option – society encourages us that if something doesn’t happen at a time we hoped it to, then maybe we should just move on.
I had always hated the idea of being in waiting until the Lord humbly led me to Ecclesiastes 3. The idea that there was a time for everything gave me the freedom to rest even when I had unanswered questions. The more the years passed, the more I learned to appreciate the essence of waiting, and as the period of waiting stretched longer and longer, the more I learned to appreciate the eager longing and anticipation that is built through patience.
Having patience in today’s world is almost something of a skill now. We are encouraged to grab the opportunities that come by so that we don’t miss out on the moments, but what we miss in the process is learning how to grow even when things feel stagnant. So often we try to get ourselves out of this rut that we feel we’re stuck in, and when we’ve failed to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps within the timeframe we’d hoped, a feeling of panic begins to settle in and we wonder what is wrong with us.
Have we forgotten that Israel herself waited more than 400 years before their King would descend upon this earth? Do we remember the fact that Jesus himself didn’t begin his ministry until he was 30? How long has Creation itself waited to be restored to the glorious state it once was? When you pull back and expand your perspective, suddenly the extra 10 minutes you waited in traffic feels pretty minuscule in comparison.
As we are placed in this period of waiting, our hearts are molded and growing for the expectant King. There’s something quite beautiful and sanctifying about the Advent season that tunes our heart away from the lights and sounds of the holidays. Like expectant parents who wait with eager longing for their child to enter into the world, our hearts grow in anticipation of the coming King.
Waiting has never been a more beautiful thing.