Waiting well (Part 2)

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Mon, 07 Dec 2015 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.’

With this exchange from Luke 1 (11-13) – and with the one that follows it, between Gabriel and Mary – the apparent ‘silence’ of God is broken. A 400-year wait is brought to an end by the news of another, shorter period of waiting and anticipation. Two babies are to be born within the same extended family, with just six months between the births. The first pregnancy will help prepare for the second, just as many years later, the first child will help prepare the way for the second.

For much of the history of God’s relationship with His people, there seems to have been fairly regular communication – whether directly from God or through the prophets. And then…silence. We have no record of God speaking. It seems that 20 generations pass without any specific word or intervention from God.

That’s a lot of waiting.

During Advent, we’re reminded that when the long silence is broken, it becomes clear that the intervention is going to be something spectacular. Words will be spoken, but more than that: God’s Word will appear in flesh and blood – the very source of life will walk among us, full of grace and truth. It’s a story that begins with a birth.

Of course, when it comes to the story of Jesus’ time on earth, there’s a long wait from the manger in Bethlehem to the preaching and healing tours of Galilee and Jerusalem. 30 years of preparation for less than three years of public ministry.

That’s a lot of waiting.

God’s promises are always worth waiting for, even when the wait seems long. That’s true throughout the Bible and it remains true for us today.

When we think about the times in our own lives when we’ve seen significant spiritual growth or drawn closer to God…they’re often times of slow, sometimes painful, waiting. As has been said before, waiting is good for the soul.

Waiting can cause us to look beyond our own, immediate concerns and embrace God’s bigger picture. Waiting can help us rely more on the God who knows us better than we know ourselves. Waiting allows God space and time to carry out the slow, beautiful work of transforming our hearts, so we become more like Christ. Waiting provides opportunities for healing and restoration. Waiting promotes intimacy.

When we wait well, we not only learn to love God more wholeheartedly, but we can also develop a greater love for others. These two things make us much more effective as we engage in God’s mission.

With God, it’s always worth the wait.

Over the next few Advent blogs, we’ll share a few ‘waiting stories’ from the CMSI staff and from our partners, beginning with a contribution from one of our newest staff members, Linda Abwa. I hope these will encourage and inspire you as you continue to look ahead in anticipation of Christ’s coming.

Keep waiting!

Roger

Comments

Aart said Mon, 07 Dec 2015 06:09PM
Thanks Roger for sharing Aart
Roger said Mon, 07 Dec 2015 09:44PM
Thanks Aart...more to come from the CMSI crew over the next couple of weeks!

Add your own comment