By Kelly Carr
I know I’ve said it before, but I hate to wait:
• In the summer we go to the local amusement park on evenings during the week to avoid long lines.
• Our family tries to go out to eat at early mealtimes so that we don’t have to wait for a table.
• We used to sing a worship song that said, “Lord, we wait—we wait patiently.” And I felt like a hypocrite because I wasn’t living it out!
Several years back, I had not one but two occasions when my lung spontaneously collapsed. My only job in each instance was to sit in the hospital and wait—for days—while doctors made sure it reinflated properly. I cannot tell you how that drove me up the wall! But there was nothing else I could do. When I finally submitted to the wait and asked God for some perspective, I ended up learning some valuable lessons.
One thing I reflected upon was God’s timing as seen throughout the Bible. God sent messages through prophets, and then decades, even generations would pass before it came to fruition. For instance, think how long God’s people waited for the promised Messiah. I enjoy the beautifully haunting melody and lyrics each Christmas of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” that depicts their endurance. What longing is expressed of a people waiting for redemption.
Compared to biblical times, I haven’t had to wait long for anything. In our culture of rush, I would do well to remember God’s history of working over the long haul. He always follows through on his promises. Though being patient is easier said than done, it’s what we are asked to do. And God’s Spirit offers to help.
Perhaps you, like me, in your own period of waiting, have cried out with deep longing, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel!” Truly we can trust that he will arrive—in his time.