Advent day 4: Waiting for God
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”
We live in a culture that refuses to wait. From fast food restaurants to 4G cell phones, there is a widespread assumption that waiting is weakness. We like instant gratification and demand immediate results. We fill silence with small talk. We avoid shopping lines and hate being put on hold. Waiting seems to leave us wanting, and wanting doesn’t seem to be worth the wait.
Advent is a season of waiting. We know that Christmas is coming with all of its celebration and excitement... but as for now, we wait. Throughout the Old Testament, we find Israel waiting and longing for the redemption that God promised to bring. It is in this spirit of longing that we find the psalmist crying out to the Lord from the depths of his soul. He counsels his soul to wait upon the Lord, to set his hope on the promises of God’s Word... specifically the hope that “with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption” (v. 7). So as a man on the night watch waits with anticipation for the dawning of the morning sun, we too wait with anticipation for the dawning of the the Lord’s redemption which comes to us at the birth of Christ.
We live our lives on the other side of Christ’s coming, but the waiting has not ceased, for we still long for Christ to redeem our broken relationships, to restore our suffering bodies, to renew our joy, to reinstate the peace which only the Spirit of God can bring. Our hope is in the Lord. And so perhaps this Christmas, we need to rediscover the spiritual discipline of waiting for God, the practice of being still before the Lord in prayer and letting our soul long with anticipation for the morning rays of Christ’s redemption to reach the depths of our brokenness.
Waiting upon the Lord can feel like a fruitless exercise. Waiting in prayer often seems like a waste of precious time... and it would be a waste if our Lord Jesus had not come. But Christ has come with steadfast love and plentiful redemption. So I pray that you will anticipate with me the dawn of Christmas morning by waiting upon the Lord today.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits....
And this waiting is worth it.
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"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:74