So many things in this season, both of the year and of my life, point to waiting. The Advent season itself is one of waiting. Remembering the waiting of the Jews for the promised Messiah. Seeing our own short-term waiting for the Christmas celebration and the joy of fellowship, giving, and receiving that comes with it. The waiting that we as believers continue to do as we await our Savior’s second coming.
For me personally, this season marks another reminder of waiting. Twelve years ago I was excitedly – and not so patiently – awaiting the arrival of one of the most exciting days of my life, my wedding day. The day that marked the end of a long period of waiting in my life.
When I was a teenager, I began praying for my future husband. I prayed that God would protect us for one another and for the time when He would bring us together. I had no idea how much loneliness and heartache the process of answering that prayer would bring me. The years of thinking I had to be the most unattractive, annoying young woman in the world – or at least on my college campus. The weekend nights going to be early and lonely because all of my friends had dates or plans that obviously didn’t include me.
The came God’s answer. Practically in the blink of an eye, the waiting was over and God’s provision was before me in the form of a man who far exceeded any dream I could ever have dreamed. The husband he protected me for and for me. There is no doubt in my mind that the waiting was worth it.
But, this blog post isn’t really about the relationship – that will come on Sunday, on the day we celebrate twelve blessed years of marriage. No, this blog post is about the waiting itself.
Being in the middle of waiting is never pleasant and enjoyable. We might have learned to experience joy in the waiting, but that joy still has to shine through struggles and sufferings. Sometimes it seems that some of our darkest times are in the waiting. Times when we feel completely forgotten. Times when it’s easy to believe that God, instead of answering our prayer, is doing the very opposite of what we requested. Even looking back and seeing how the waiting paid off, we still never quite lose the emotional consciousness of the pain of waiting.
There were some very dark times when the Jews were waiting for the Messiah. Every time I read about a historical or present day martyr or sufferer of persecution, I am reminded of how dark the days can be now as we wait for the triumphant return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In just the same way, our temporal waiting will have dark days – probably many of them. But, the waiting is always worth it. God is still working, and He will show His hand in His perfect timing. And one day our ultimate waiting will be over and we will spend eternity basking in the delight of the fulfillment of all our waiting.