A Lesson on Waiting from the Christmas Story

What are you waiting on God for? What have you been praying for but haven’t received or an answer you haven’t gotten yet? We can get so impatient sometimes. I know I can. We want things instantly. We live in a day and age when we can order something online and in two days or less we have it in our hands. We forget about waiting. We grow hopeless with waiting.

I know I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the verse in Proverbs 13:12 that says: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”(NLT) And it’s easy for our hearts to become sick as we wait because it often seems God isn’t going to answer. And I’ve been wrestling with how you keep your heart from getting sick? How do you hold on to hope with things you only have so much control over?

Then it hit me as I was reflecting on God’s choice to send Jesus to earth as a baby. For years people had been waiting for the Messiah. It probably sometimes felt like God was never going to keep His promise. And then when He finally did and the Messiah came to earth He was a baby. They’d have to wait for Him to grow up. And ultimately wait until about 33 years of His growing to bring salvation promised so many years earlier. But yet people kept hoping, kept trusting, and believing God to keep His word. And He did!

Even me knowing this doesn’t make waiting easier. But it does give me strength to keep praying, keep hoping, and keep believing God to keep His word.

And even though God did fulfill His promise through Jesus. We see that Jesus was not the Messiah they were expecting. He was not who they thought He’d be, and He wasn’t there to save in the way they had thought He would.

How many times do we miss God fulfilling prayers and promises because we are too busy looking for something to look the way we think it should? How many times have we missed His answer and think we are still waiting when God is like, “Look, I already answered that.”? So in our hoping and our waiting are we asking God to help us recognize when He does answer that prayer or fulfill that promise?

And an even more important question to ask is will you still be thankful if it isn’t exactly the way you thought He’d answer? And will you be able to keep hope alive and trust alive if His answer isn’t in your timing?

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