by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel
“But me! I will keep watch for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7 CEB
Imagine waiting more than 400 years for an answer to prayer!
That’s what God’s chosen people had to do – they waited in the dark, hoping for deliverance. Perhaps while singing their own version of “Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free…”
In between the Old and New Testaments, the heavens seemed closed to the nation of Israel. God was silent. They thought nothing was happening. And likely felt their prayers for a Messiah were falling on deaf ears. Yet, in reality, God was still at work bringing about the perfect political and religious settings for the appearance of His Son.
God’s timing is always best. Even if it means we have to wait. We can always be assured that He hears us.
During those waiting years, the Jews had become unwilling subjects of the Roman Empire. They wanted more than just limited freedom to worship and hope. As they read the prophecies of the Old Testament, they dreamed of a Messiah who would finally arrive and restore them to the powerful nation they were in the time of King David. Surely this person would be a mighty warrior, a strong and larger-than-life hero!
No one was looking for a helpless, newborn baby. In a barn.
What are you waiting for these days?
Maybe for that feeling to go away? You know, the one that keeps reminding you that you’re not enough and never will be, the one where you are searching for something that will make everything else fall into place…but it’s just beyond reach? Sometimes I think I’m waiting to experience that Perfect Family Gathering with diverse loved ones all in agreement and full of praise for me as the matriarch (you know, when “her children rise up and call her blessed…”).
He desires good things for us but often His timing is not in sync with ours. “We orient our lives to speed. We want faster computers, fast food, instant coffee. We want what we want now, so waiting becomes hard. Waiting in our prayer life and waiting for Christmas become disciplines we return to every December. For what do we wait? Do we wait for a baby to be born? Do we wait for peace to dwell in the whole world and in our fractured, busy lives? Do we wait for the rebirth of joy, a rekindling of hope?”
Here are some steps I find helpful during those excruciating waiting times:
- Write down your prayers and concerns for this situation.
- Assure God you truly desire His will in His way.
- Intercede in prayer for others you know who are also waiting.
- Take the next step that has been made clear to you.
Why not choose to try one of these in these days of Advent? Keep watch. God will show up.
 “Come, Thou long expected Jesus” a hymn by Charles Wesley, 1745
About the author: Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while helping people to choose a life of serenity and strength. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the award-winning author of 15 books. Whether co-directing the ReNew Retreat, pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages.
Lucinda’s latest book, Life-Giving Choices: 60 Days to What Matters Most, is a devotional book designed to help you discover what brings life, joy, and meaning. While there are myriad ways in which we can choose to spend our lives, only a few essentials truly matter. “Don’t settle for the good when you can choose the best.”
Join the Conversation: What are you waiting for?