Advent is a season of waiting. God’s people waited for the Messiah to be born and, today, we eagerly await his return. In modern America, we seem to have a very hard time waiting. As a result, Christmas decorations start appearing before Thanksgiving and one of our local radio stations in Philadelphia starts playing Christmas music in November. Admittedly, I love both. The music and the mood of Christmas can’t come soon enough for me! But waiting is a spiritual discipline. Waiting reminds us that we are not in charge. Waiting teaches us that life is beyond our control and yet fully under the sovereign power of the wise and loving God who, in the fullness of time, causes his purposes to come to fruition.
The Bible is replete with examples of the spiritual benefits of waiting. Abraham and Sarah seemed to wait forever to see only dimly the first fruits of God’s salvation plan. Like us, Abraham and Sarah found waiting difficult. So difficult in fact, that they actually believed that they needed to help God fulfill his divine purposes! Abram (at the time) essentially told God, “I don’t have what I need to fulfill your plan for my life.” Have you ever said that to God? If you have then please lean into God’s response: “You will have everything I have promised you. My plan will be fulfilled.” Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Waiting in expectant belief that God will fulfill His plan is a spiritual discipline that will grow our hearts and our faith. May this season of Advent be a time when we reflect on the example of Abraham. A man who liked waiting no more than we do and yet took God at His word and it was credited to him as righteousness.