My kids wait to be allowed to eat the candy off their newly constructed gingerbread houses.
I wait in car pool lines and at bus stops. I wait at the DMV, the grocery store check out aisle, and the garage. I wait at the dentist’s office and at baseball practices. I wait for the ham to defrost, the bread to rise, the paycheck to come in, and the trash to go out.
I’ve waited for babies and dreams and a rental house that doesn’t have faux bricks falling off its kitchen walls.
I’ve waited years in between my visits home to South Africa.
I’ve waited for writing opportunities, a job that didn’t require two hours of commuting each way and for the last of my three kids to graduate from the potty to the toilet. I’m still waiting for my daughter to be able to wipe herself without an assist.
Waiting can be boring.
Waiting can hurt. It can be confusing.
When we’re waiting for a diagnosis, an end to bedtime battles, a love that understands us in the deepest part of our gut. Waiting can feel empty and desperately lonely.
It can feel worthless.
Being the one who is always waiting can defeat you from the inside.
We are quick to dismiss waiting as a waste of time. We want to be doing.
Today is December 1st. The first day of Advent. The season of waiting.
Here’s the thing — we are not actually alone in our waiting. Waiting is as intrinsic to the human condition as our DNA. The whole world and God’s own Holy Spirit are waiting with us.
The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.
Advent is the season of active waiting.
Advent sets our eyes on the Savior who has promised an end to waiting, to death, to sorrow.
Advent waits for the arrival of the answer to all our unasked questions of hope and doubt and despair.
Advent is the promise: There will be an answer, and the answer is already there.
His name is Jesus.Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I do believe we’ve lost the fine art of how to wait with anticipation. Now I know I’ll date myself with this one…..but as a kid, I remember having to eat so many boxes of xxx brand cereal and you would cut off the box tops. Once you had three box tops (and that’s a lot of rice krispies) you could add a buck of allowance money and send in for a a wonderful prize you couldn’t live without. After you ate all the cereal, sent in your box tops, THEN they made you wait another 6-8 weeks for delivery. That’s A LOT of waiting for one so young, but the anticipating was fun. I’d check the mail each day…did it come?? No, then maybe tomorrow. As the days wore on, anticipation grew. That’s the anticipation times 100 I want to have for the arrival of my Savior. I want to savor waiting for my Savior. Good things come to those who wait and often the good things happen IN the waiting. Starting my Jesse Tree today with ornaments….let the anticipation of His arrival begin!
Oh yes, Bev …I loved the sweet anticipation of waiting for those childhood treats. Some waiting is hard, some painful but some like waiting to celebrate the baby who came down for us is precious time spent. Thanks for taking down memory lane!
Carla M. Beam says
Very well said!!! Blessings to you and to yours.
Kim B Smith says
Oh Bev. I so remember the box top thing.
Michele Morin says
Thank you for this.
Truly, I love (and need) this reminder that I wait (and live and move and have my being) in community, both here on Earth, visible, and the cloud of witnesses (invisible) that waits for the fulfillment of all things.
Blessings to you!
“Active waiting”…I like that. Thankful that wait our hearts long for is already fulfilled — in Jesus. Lovely, Lisa-Jo, thank you. ♥
Funny, isn’t it? Our family cannot gather with us, sending cash isn’t close to the fun of searching for ‘just the right gift’, close friends are now far away and yet – come St. Andrew’s day, that old sense of anticipation, of waiting is still there. Come Christmas Eve, the magic and the mystery will deepen. Old memories will sweeten present sorrows, we may be thankful for present joys and the sure and certain knowledge the Love that never fails us is ever present.
Thank you for your message, Lisa Jo.
Kim B Smith says
Lisa-Jo. Thank you for this reminder. I have taken time this year to wait. Actively and doing so I rediscovered God. I have learned to breathe allow what it seems like this world going high speed to pass me by and to turn to Him and allow His time. Some days I feel lazy, others I do not but that allowing, trusting and having faith all with ease has been my focus.
Gail Noe says
I too am in a waiting on God. But just look at what He sent. “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, Revere, and worship You.” PS. 31:19. His Word shows us that God is good. May we be encouraged to get ready, to stand in faith & boldly expect to receive the overwhelming goodness of God in our lives! Amazing Grace-His power to help you do with ease what you could never do on your own.
Thank-you Lisa Jo for sharing your post,
I remember when I got my first lab, after two years of waiting, the day we went to pick him up, it turned out that we didn’t have to choose him, he came over, sat on my husband’s foot, and that was it. For the eight years he was with us not only was he endearing, he was worth the wait. So I do believe that all good things are worth the wait, and as you said Lisa Jo, “God will be right along side us.”
Blessings to all,
Linda R Johnson says
How wonderful is our God? This reminder is the second one I’ve read this week about the activity of God in our waiting time. Little did I know that I would be terminated from my job this morning.
Eyes swollen and ego hurt, I’ve cried myself all the way to the bank to deposit my final check. I came back home to find this article perfectly tucked within my emails.
You see, Lisa-Jo, I had waited 5 years for God to change my job (after being in an occupation for over 20 years). This new job lasted less than 4 months; but I’m somewhat relieved that I’m now detached. I was clearly “not suited” for the technical requirements — God designed me for people interaction.
So again, I sit in the ‘waiting area’ of God’s Promise. I TRUST, therefore I know — that He is the lifter of my soul.
Sometimes the gentle reminders are His People reaching out to us in love — it doesn’t shorten the wait, but it does make it more bearable.
Thank you for your obedience in writing this — you have touched me today in a way no one else has❤️.
Summer Rae says
You may never know how truly deep your words hit my heart today! God is so faithful! This season He is moving His mighty hand and answering long asked questions beyond my understanding. There have been so many “low” seasons, seasons waiting (which, I think there is an ounce of in every season…), seasons of routine, seasons of worry, of fear… all of that and any moment of “waiting” is beyond “worth it” to see what He is doing not only in my life, but in the lives of those around me now. God is proving that if you stay faithful to Him and just TRUST in Him, He will never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13: 5)! His timing is perfect. His plan is perfect. His love for us is perfect! Thank you for sharing a clipit of your story with us today! May you, and your family, have a blessed day.
This side of Heaven,
Rebecca L Jones says
The answer to everything, what I’ve been waiting for LL long.
Beth Williams says
I feel like I’ve spent my whole life waiting on something or someone. It has often felt like a waste of time. You sit idly by watching this fast paced world rush on with the busy lives while you wait. As I’ve gotten older I realize there is some good to come out of waiting. We learn patience & perseverance. I also find myself yearning for a different home. Anticipating my joy in being with Jesus daily & getting to see family & friends again. This world isn’t my home praise God!! I don’t like what we’ve become. I’m waiting with anticipation for the promised Child who will deliver us all!
Nancy Ruegg says
Active waiting–MUCH truth in that two-word phrase. For starters, we can actively pray, work, and live out our faith–all while waiting for God’s plan to unfold. Thank you, Lisa-Jo, for the encouraging hope of your words: waiting does not diminish us. No indeed. Waiting is part of God’s strengthening process.
Sonja Cudmore says
Delayed gratification… active waiting is a challenging persuit in a time of immediate gratification, same day deliveries, instant messaging everything happening at the click of a computer key or the snap of a finger. This is a fast paced world we live in and we seem to expect immediate assistance. Slowing down means retraining the brain and our entire wiring. The process of waiting can seem an act of frustration or simply an inefficient use of time in a world that is primed for speed.
I’ve always lived in the fast lane and the act of slowing down or pacing in order to cope with all of the demands of life is certainly a challenge. I’m constantly reprogramming my thoughts and actions. Try not to laugh but I use an app on my Apple Watch to help me take time to breath everyday. I take sometime also in meditation or prayer to reflect and find balance. I have also been taking time to write and mail letters just as I did when I was a child.
I enjoyed reading this and I think many of us are relearning how to find time to stop or pause. Thanks!