What is the longest you have had to wait for something?
I was challenged by this question the minute I read it in an Advent devotional from Lifeway.
I started reading the devotional last week. The topic for the first week of Advent is faith and the waiting that accompanies it.
The author, Matt Tullos, begins with these verses:
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
– Psalm 27:14
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
– Hebrews 11:6
After these verses, Tullos declares that faith and waiting go hand-in-hand. That’s when he asked the opening question that’s been challenging me so much.
So, I’ll ask again: what is the longest you have had to wait for something?
When I ponder this in my own life, it becomes clear to me as a believer that I’m called to wait upon the Lord and that waiting will often be difficult.
I also know that we all are to make known to God the desires of our hearts.
We can only do this because the Lord is our strength and our hope (Psalm 33:20, 91:20).
As I reflect on these verses and this Lifeway devotion in this Advent season, Psalm 28:7 is resonating with me most during this time:
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
How many of us trust the Lord so much that our heart leaps for joy even during trials?
If we seek Christ-centeredness in our lives, we can have joy in the waiting and in the anticipation.
This is true in my own life as my husband and I struggled to have our second child.
We made our desire known to God, often.
We had hope that even if the answer was “no,” God still knew what was best for us. We could still rest hopefully in his will.
The struggling and the wait were difficult for us. But our hope in Christ made joy possible.
We can have hope and joy in the direst of circumstances as we wait upon the Lord.
Sadly, this is not true for those who don’t know or fall away from Christ.
This week I experienced great sadness as a friend of mine took his own life.
He suffered from a rare physical condition causing him daily physical pain and mental anguish.
For him, he had no hope in the wait to find a cure or to feel better.
There was no joy – only loneliness and sorrow.
He left behind four boys who will be waiting for answers and reconciliation.
I hope they find Jesus through this tragedy, because he will be their only true hope for joy.
When we know Jesus we can know joy.
We can wait.
We can struggle.
We can grow through trials, not in spite of them.
My hope is that if you follow this blog, you know Jesus.
If you do and you are waiting for something, please feel the hope that comes in Christ.
Reflect on the great hope that Advent brings as we anticipate the savior who was born in a dirty, unglamorous manger for the eternal freedom of our souls.
If you are wondering about Jesus, please know that accepting him will bring you a hope, a joy, and a peace that surpass all understanding.
These things will make your heart leap, even while you wait your way through the very hard things that happen in this fallen world.