Please join us over the next several weeks as we journey through this Advent season. We will be hearing from many of our City Church staff as well as members of the congregation as we all ponder the mysteries of this season. Today’s contribution comes from City Church Attender, Stacy Kempf.
Seasons of Waiting
Four hundred years…that is the amount of time that historians believe separated the prophetic words of the Old Testament and the writings of the New Testament. Four centuries of perceived “silence”, approximately 146,000 days or 3,504,000 hours of waiting to hear from God. As someone who grows frustrated simply waiting for the light to turn green, it’s not much of a stretch for me to imagine what the wait must have been like for the Jewish people during that time, especially considering their track record. I can only envision that they were like many of us today…impatient one moment, hopeful the next, then back to doubting and questioning God’s plans. This season of waiting that they experienced, along with many stories in the Bible, reveal to us that God’s timeline rarely matches up to the one desired by His children. Yet it is always perfect, as it was the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
With so many examples of God’s flawless timing, why are we still terrible at waiting on The Creator of time itself? Why do we find ourselves trying to hurry Him along as we rush towards the next blessing, the next milestone, the next day off, the next __________ (fill in the blank)? We all can probably shake our heads in agreement at C.S. Lewis’ frequently quoted words of, “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless he sees that it is good for him to wait.” So why then do we struggle with it so much still? It’s distressing to me how I can sometimes push my agenda on God or even leave Him out of it completely, all because I don’t care to wait. Yet the Bible shows us over and over that waiting is simply a part of God’s divine providence, and He uses it to refine us and to draw us closer to Him.
With all that being said, it seems that all the signs point to one reason, as to why we are dreadfully defective at waiting….it all comes down to sin…to the very reason that Jesus came down to earth in the first place. How very fortunate then are you and I that we have a loving and merciful God, who is quick to forgive us, and who loves us enough to keep us waiting for as long as it takes. He is also gracious enough to invite us to have an intimate relationship with him, which enables us to face difficult times of waiting with the peace and contentment that only He can offer. I think that’s one reason that I enjoy the Advent season so much. It’s a reminder that I am desperately in need of Savior, and it is through Him that I am able to embrace the wait - to wait with joyful expectation for the celebration of Christmas Day and to wait for the glorious Advent yet to come!