Do you remember how long it seemed to take for Christmas morning to arrive when you were a child? The last few weeks of school crept painfully by. And the final days before Christmas? Nearly intolerable. The anticipation of what lay inside those shiny packages under the tree and the wonder of the season was vexing.
But maybe the experience of waiting for Christmas as children was good exercise for us. Because as adults we’re still waiting, aren’t we? Waiting to finish our degree. Waiting to find true love. Waiting for the corner office or for our dream job. Waiting to save enough money for a new car or a bigger house. Waiting to see if our medical treatment was successful this time. Waiting for a baby to arrive. Waiting, waiting, frustratingly waiting.
The Christmas story itself was an exercise in waiting, too. Take Simeon, for example. This “just and devout” man (Luke 2:25) was so waiting . . . so longing for redemption in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit assured him that he would live long enough to see the Messiah with his own eyes. Thought to have been incredibly long-lived, historians say Simeon was well over 200 years old when he was led by the Spirit to the Temple at the very time that Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus there. Simeon’s patience and trust had been acknowledged by God and he was rewarded by being allowed to bless the Child.
Anna was at the Temple that day, too. Anna lost her husband early in their marriage and since then had lived at the Temple faithfully serving the Lord as a prophetess. For decades she too had yearned for the Redeemer’s appearance. Now, in her 80’s, she came face to face with Him as He lay in His mother’s arms. Can you imagine her delight? Anna’s long wait was rewarded too.
And then there was Mary. For centuries believers have been in awe of this faithful girl who was willing to wait upon and be used by the Lord—graciously accepting His will for her life. Think of it: using Mary’s obedience, God fulfilled the long-awaited prophesy—sending the Deliverer of Israel.
Simeon, Anna, and Mary found Isaiah 40:31 to be true: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The same God who understood the loneliness of waiting experienced by these three, also understands your waiting season. He loves you, He sees you, and in His time and in His way, He will answer your “wait.” Look to the Christmas story and find strength. Waiting builds trust, teaches us patience, and strengthens our faith while we learn to wait well for God’s perfect will.
This article includes material from the King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition from Thomas Nelson. To learn more about this Bible, watch the video!