Try any of the Advent stories: Mary waiting for Jesus to be born; Elizabeth waiting for John’s arrival; Zechariah waiting to be able to speak again and, perhaps most famously, all of us waiting with Isaiah:
The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light;
Those who live in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. (9:2)
I have always understood those waiting periods to be always pointing us to a tension that’s always with us to remind us of what we are always having to do: to be always waiting and yet always trusting.
I know I used the word “always” a little too much in the last sentence but that is how it feels to me. That we are often, as people of Jesus, waiting for something, and always waiting in hope. But notice the beauty of the “always”.
We may have to wait often to see how things will turn out. What will happen in national events, what will happen in the lives of those we love; what will happen at General Conference 2019? But we wait as those who have hope. We wait knowing that our hope is in God and so we will not be disappointed.
Waiting in hope means that we are active. We look forward to something we cannot yet see so we do what we know to do in this time and look for God to act in the future.
Waiting in hope means that we are kind (to ourselves) and to others. To be kind to others means that we treat others as we would treat Jesus. Being kind to ourselves means that we remember it is God acting for us so we live in confidence, not worry.
Always waiting means that we shouldn’t grow but so tired: we are practiced at this waiting game. We know that salvation and hope come from outside ourselves so we can be at peace.
Always waiting means that we have practice living in hope. And hope can be our dominant theme as we look forward to the future.
Always waiting means a realistic look at what will be. Those who are always waiting know that not every development and not every turn of the future is from God. But always waiting means that we know God is always at work to bring about good in the world. God showed that in the gift of Jesus.
So: I’m glad that you and I are always waiting.
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HELLO FROM HARVEY – THE BEAUTY OF (ALWAYS) WAITING
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