Praying In The Waiting
We all know what's like to want something really bad, while at the same time accepting that you have absolutely no control over when you will receive it. In those situations, the only thing you can do is wait, and wait, and wait. Some of us are waiting for our life circumstances to change. Some of us are waiting for the score on our final exam. Others are waiting for the Lord to heal a loved one. Some are waiting for guidance on what steps to take next for our lives. Others are waiting for the good news to finally arrive. Waiting is not an easy thing for any of us to do; but what we do while we wait, makes all the difference. We can complain while we wait, nagging God about why He is taking so long to deliver what we want, we can give up along the way, or we can choose to pray while we wait.
There are multiple examples in the Bible of God making His people wait for His timing before providing His answer to their problem. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for many years before God responded to their cry. (Exodus 2:23-25) It wasn’t until God's appointed time that He sent Moses to deliver the Israelites from oppression in Egypt. (Exodus 12:31) After being anointed the next king of Israel, David had to wait many years before he actually took the throne. (1 Samuel 16) During David's years "in waiting", he served, he prayed, and he grew closer to God. (2 Samuel 2:1-14) When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions he didn’t know what his fate would be. Daniel just decided to believe in God and he knew that whatever happened, God‘s will would be done in his life. Daniel knew that he had to wait for God to answer the way that He saw fit. (Daniel 6) The New Testament of the Bible continues to speak of the generations of people who were alive and waiting for the Savior. Generations before believed the Savior was coming, but they did not live long enough to see Him arrive. Of all of the waiting that takes place in the Bible, waiting for our Savior to arrive is one of the most profound times in scripture.
The generations who were alive at that time had no idea who the Savior was, or what He would look like when He came. Back then, the word of the prophets (which came from God) was what the people stood on. Isaiah told us if we wait on the Lord we will have renewed strength. (Isaiah 40:31) Jeremiah spoke of the new covenant that would exist between God and His people, giving everyone something to look forward to. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) When that little baby boy was born all those years later, God's people were finally able to see what their elders had been talking about their entire lives. (Luke 2)
The star that so many place on the top of their Christmas trees each year, symbolizes the star that the Wise Men followed after the news of the Saviors birth had reached them. (Matthew 2:1-12) Just as people waited generations for the Savior to arrive on earth, today we are praying and waiting for our Savior to come back to Earth and carry us to our Heavenly home. (Matthew 24) While we are waiting for that day, God calls us to love one another. (Matthew 22:36-40) God calls us to encourage one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11-12) Jesus tells us to seek Him and He’ll take care of everything else. (Matthew 6:33) Jesus tells us to come to Him when we’re weary so that He can provide the rest that we need. (Matthew 11:28) Jesus tells us not to try to have everything figured out because He alone knows what is best for our lives. (Romans 8:27-28)
When we are waiting for answers from God, how we wait is so important. When we put down our desires and trust in God with everything that we have (Proverbs 3:5-6), such extreme blessings can come to us in our waiting. This Christmas season let’s not focus on what we will gift other people, or the gifts that we receive. Instead, let’s keep our focus on Jesus. As we wait for Jesus to return, let's pivot our waiting posture. Although we are "in waiting", God can do amazing things with our lives when we truly surrender and let Him.
Tyndale House Foundation. (1996, 2004, 2015). Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Carol Stream, Illinois. All rights reserved.: Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.