As we wait for Christmas to arrive, what are we really waiting for?
I've been thinking of those, from years past, who were waiting for their lives to end. Who, by choice or not, each heard the call of death. And I've been wondering what must have filled their hearts and minds as they prepared to die?
Jonah ran away from God. Was swallowed by a great fish. And called out to God in his distress.
A widow gathered sticks. Planned her last meal for herself and her son. And made a cake for Elijah.
Elijah ran for his life. Collapsed by a broom tree. And prayed that God would take his life. He was done.
Hagar wandered with Ishmael. Sobbed in despair. And discovered that God had provided a well.
Each one was
Waiting for death. Receiving life.
God sees. Even when we feel hidden. And hopeless. And helpless.
Surrounded by darkness. In a seemingly never-ending wilderness.
We cannot escape His presence, even if we try.
He pays attention to every detail. And He lovingly touches the brokenhearted.
What are you waiting for?
Simeon has to be one of the greatest wait-ers in history.
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32)
Simeon knew that he would encounter the long-awaited Messiah before he died. He held on to that hope for many years. And he lived to see God fulfill His promise. He wasn't just waiting for his death. He was waiting to hold the Giver of Life in his arms before God brought an end to his days on earth.
How are you waiting to receive the Life He has for you this Christmas?