The Weight Of Waiting…
How much of our short time on earth is spent waiting? Lots.
- 6 months waiting in line;
- 2 months waiting on hold on the phone;
- 6 months in traffic.
But we also wait for relationships, children, graduation,
jobs, relief, peace, rest, healing, apologies.
There’s a weight to waiting,
especially if we wait for something noble,
especially when we realize we have little control
over getting what we’re waiting for.
Waiting is central to Christmas.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, some people were awaiting the Messiah,
expecting Him to be born,
looking for His appearance any moment.
Luke 2:22-40: HERE.
Many others—even those who knew the Old Testament—
were not eagerly waiting for Him,
were not practically expecting & preparing for it.
Matthew 2:3: “When King Herod heard this he was disturbed,
and all Jerusalem with him.”
Perhaps some were too attached to life’s difficulties.
The promises of Messiah had come 500—2,000 years earlier,
& maybe there was a beaten-down-just-trying-to-hang-in-there
aspect to faith.
Perhaps the hardship of ancient life—life expectancy of 40 years,
living with little margin: one bad harvest,
one infection away from death—
combined with the oppressive Roman occupation
led many to believe in the mind
but not hope for/expect in the heart.
- How do we often “protect” ourselves from disappointment?
Stop hoping for something that “probably wont happen”…
Some were even disturbed at the thought of Messiah’s arrival.
Too attached to life’s desserts.
Or, the thought at what they’d lose when Messiah arrived.
Some of God’s people got scraps from Rome,
& they had in practice (if not principle) changed their allegiance.
Many have a blessed life, some nice plans that we look forward to
& the thought of Christ returning before or during our long-awaited plans
is frustrating. Maybe we’d rather Christ return after
we reach our goals & enjoy our blessings to the last drop.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to have plans & look forward to goals
on earth, but if those things cause us to stop eagerly waiting for
& desiring our Lord & Savior’s second coming,
then we are responding, more than we realize,
like the majority of God’s people did at His first coming…
Yet we are called to eagerly wait & diligently prepare for
Christ’s sudden return. We face the same challenges
that God’s people faced 2,000 years ago:
we often are either too attached to life’s difficulties
or too attached to life’s desserts.
Hebrews 9:27-28: “Just as people are destined to die once,
and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once
to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time,
not to bear sin,
but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
Philippians 3:20: “But our citizenship is in heaven.
And we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Why is this important for us
to eagerly and actively wait for our Savior?
Helps us prepare. That is, it helps us focus on growing/maturing
as Christians. Our fruitfulness, our character, our maturity—
the fruit of the Spirit in our lives—is a mighty and precious gift
to lay at the feet of the Lord Jesus when He returns.
Ever have loved ones coming over to visit? What do you do?
You may have checked the window many times
to see if they’re pulling up to the curb/driveway,
and as you do that checking, you’re preparing for their visit!
- Finishing the food,
- setting the table,
- cleaning the house
(“Having people over is the only way
I can keep my house clean!” 🙂 ),
- often in extra special ways than you normally do.
- (maybe even checking your appearance in the mirror)
And so as we train our minds to regularly think about Christ’s return,
reminding ourselves by reading the Bible regularly,
as we check the window in prayer,
it causes us to prepare our hearts,
to seek growth and maturity for His fame/glory
(“He leads me in paths of righteousness
for the sake of His name” Psalm 23),
to not settle for staying the way we are.
My dear friends, as you feel the weight of waiting,
be encouraged that this is a central part of being a Christian.
Even the famous Old Testament prophets waited.
You’re in good company.
Hebrews 11:13, 39: “All these people were still living by faith
when they died. They did not receive the things promised;
they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance…
These were all commended for their faith,
yet none of them received what had been promised…
Matthew 13:16-17: “But blessed are your eyes because they see,
and your ears because they hear. 17For truly I tell you,
many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see
but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Keep waiting on the Lord Jesus to return, my friends,
dare to wait expectantly.
Check the window (Bible), prepare your heart for His return,
train yourselves to be godly,
when He returns let Him find you being about our Father’s business.
You won’t be disappointed.
In the 1980s, a ketchup company had a slogan:
“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait.”
I would just add a glorious prepositional phrase:
“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait For The LORD.”