Hoping and Waiting

by Dyann Shepard

Do you ever get tired of waiting? I do. I am impatient once I know what I want and when I want it. Not one of my admirable qualities.

Scripture is full of hoping and waiting. Abraham and Sarah waited 40 years for Isaac. The Israelites waited 430 years for freedom from Egypt, then another 40 years to see the Promised Land.

What are you waiting for? Are you tempted to assist God in fulfilling His promises when He is too slow? Abraham tried to bring about God’s promise of a son by impregnating Hagar. The Israelites tried to realize their hope with the golden calf when Moses seemed to linger too long at Mount Sinai. We live in an impatient world, expecting things to be resolved quickly and cleanly without rough edges. When life does not cooperate, we lose our patience and hope, often taking events into our own hands to “help” God fulfill His promises more quickly.

I want to be like Jesus. But I forget this requires presenting myself daily to God as a living and holy sacrifice, as my spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1). It requires renewing my mind and conforming to His will. God is the potter who does the molding and transforming.

I want to be the potter without the kiln’s fire, the hand’s pressure, and the palm’s kneading. I fancy the shortcut version with the long-term effect. My hope is misplaced as I depend on my abilities rather than God. I must allow the Lord to work in me to will and to do His good pleasure. He will complete the work. Again, I must wait.

So we live as the Israelites did, waiting expectantly, participating with God but with the tension of not taking steps to fulfill the promise before the appointed time; a fine and delicate balance. God knows me well. My loving Father also waits. He waits for me to turn back, give up control and see the work and glory of God, in His time, in His way.

Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 9:6: For to us, a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The wait was almost 700 years before Messiah Jesus was born.

We are in good company as we wait with hope.  Waiting was modeled for us by Mary and Joseph after the angels promised that Mary would birth the Messiah. Elizabeth and Zacharias waited for the son who would be the forerunner of the Messiah. Simeon waited after the Holy Spirit revealed that he would not see death until he saw the Lord’s Christ.

God gave each a word and a promise. Each waited to experience fulfillment. Mary and Joseph trusted God in a way I cannot fathom. When Simeon’s hope was fulfilled, he held the baby Jesus in his arms and declared with praise to God, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations” (Luke 2:28–31).

It is easy to fix our eyes on the baby in the manger: quiet, sweet, peaceful, and uncomplicated. We must look past the manager and to the cross: loud, painful, tumultuous, and complicated. Look up, and give glory to God, our creator. He chose to take on the form of a vulnerable human being for our salvation. Jesus is our hope, the hope of our salvation.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 ESV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Dyann Shepard is a wife, mother, grandmother, author, speaker, Bible teacher, former staff member of CRU,  Stephen’s Minister and retired CPA. Her passion is writing about God’s transforming power in our daily lives as we open our hearts to Him. Her Bible study “Wisdom: Capturing the Power of our Words” was released in 2022.  She is a contributing writer for Just Between Us magazine and writes a monthly blog.

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