We've entered the season of Advent. A time of waiting. Waiting for the coming of Jesus into our lives and into our world. For many of us, the waiting is the hardest part of the whole thing. We don't want to wait for anything. We want it now. I, too, am guilty of this. I freely admit that I am an instant gratification type of guy. It's why I was so hesitant to learn how to cook and always preferred fast food because I hated waiting. I don't even like to wait for water for boil when I'm making pasta. I sincerely don't like to wait. Did I mention I'm a Type A?!
What I've learned, though, is that it is a very important quality to learn how to wait. It is very important to learn how to bide your time. It is through our waiting that we can best hear the voice of God in our lives. We hear God whenever we wait for something that we really want, like our wedding day or Christmas morning. It is in the waiting that allows us the opportunity and the privilege of experiencing God's presence. In the silence and the stillness, there is God.
What does this mean for those who are still waiting? Waiting for peace? Waiting for understanding? Waiting for love? Waiting for change? What does their life look like? Does this mean that they should continue to wait in hopes that God will speak to them in their waiting? I wouldn't say that. God is also there with us when we get tired of waiting and start actually doing. God is with the protesters, the grieving parents, the lobbyists, the broken-hearted and the rejected. God is always with us wherever we go. God's voice can be heard in the midst of waiting or in the midst of action. You can't keep God out, no matter what others might do to suggest otherwise.
I don't want to diverge into a discussion of politics on here as I think that is something that is best left off of this space but over the last few days, I've been hearing a lot about how the shooting in Connecticut this past weekend happened because we have pushed God out of our schools and we are being punished for that decision. What most rankles me about that statement is that it limits God. It says that God cannot be in the school because our society has pushed God out of our schools. I don't think that's how God works. God can be anywhere God wants to be. That's just God's nature. God was in the school house that day with the children as they were crying. God was with the teachers as they were comforting the children. God was with the parents as they mourned the loss of so many young lives. To say that God couldn't be in the schoolhouse because God's no longer allowed there is insulting to God and offensive to all who believe in God. God can't be contained by our rules. God goes where God wants.
In this season of Advent, we wait. Some wait for peace for their troubled hearts. Others wait for love because they have never experienced it. Some wait for change because they are tired of living with the status quo. Still, others wait for understanding because they are tired of not being understood. What joy it is on Christmas Day when we no longer have to wait anymore. The wait is over. Jesus has finally come. He understands, loves, changes and brings peace. The wait was worth it. Let's remember that as we journey forth over this next week. The wait may be long. It may be difficult but at the end of the day, it is worth it. God is always with us, in our waiting and in our not-waiting. Jesus is the one we wait for and his coming provides us with all the desires of our deepest hearts. Are you willing to wait for Jesus? Are you willing to listen for God in the waiting? Are you willing to wait with me? Do You Hear What I Hear? It's God. Listen, you might just hear it.