One of the major themes of Advent – the period of four weeks preparing for the coming of the Christ at Christmas – is waiting. Waiting with patience and expectation all the while surrendering control to the One who ultimately rules and reigns.
Waiting and Patience
Recently, I had one of those weeks in which somehow everyday, no matter what I seemed to be doing, I was having to wait. I won’t bore you with the details but I confess I do not have a lot of patience. Suffice it to say having car trouble in December is not only economically inconvenient but emotionally frustrating and it all centers on trying to find lug nuts for my wheels. I had no idea it could be so difficult to find 20 lug nuts in the city of Wichita.
Then, as God would have it, I was reading the appointed Scripture for a day when my frustration level was higher than usual, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Chapter one of Matthew’s Gospel describes the genealogy of Jesus, beginning with Abraham. It took 42 generations of people before the Messiah came to earth. The average generation is 40 to 60 years, which means it took God over 2,000 years to bring forth the Savior of the world. Talk about waiting and the need for patience.
At the end of each day, each year, each generation, the only thing the people of Israel could do is to wait – with active trust, not passive resignation.
So, is there anything in your life that frustrates you?
Is there anything happening in your world that is causing you to wait, and to wait patiently?
If so, this is the opportunity for active trust not passive resignation.
A Parable of Patience
I am reminded of the story of the preacher who went into his church to pray. While praying, he asked God, “How long is 10 million years to you?” He replied, “One second.” The next day, the pastor asked God, “God, how much is 10 million dollars to you?” And God replied, “A penny.” Then finally, the next day, the pastor asked God, “God, can I have one of your pennies?” And God replied, “Just wait a second.”
–Rev. Jeff Gannon, senior pastor