It’s hard to believe it has been over fifteen years, but in August of 1996 God nudged me down a path which changed my life. The email ministry which began as an idea for the distribution of encouragement has taught me much, blessed our family, and provided many unique opportunities. But there have also been many frustrations, the biggest being the near constant lack of clear direction. It seems we are never allowed to see more than our next short step down the road. The result has been a continual asking of God, an on-going preparation to follow, and a difficult process of waiting. Looking back we can clearly see His loving Hand of guidance in every step, but looking forward we try to not grow impatient as we seek, trust…and wait.
Why is waiting so difficult? I’m afraid our “get-it-now” society doesn’t prepare us very well for waiting. Many around the world have a different concept of time and seem to live a much more relaxed and patient life, but most of us are taught from birth the science of immediate gratification. We want, we get; we want some more, we get some more. Accomplishment is defined by running and spinning; but the result is usually just a spinning out of control.
Our world hasn’t always been this way. There was a time long ago when people truly knew how to wait on the Lord.
Joseph and Mary were devout Jews who followed the laws of Moses. Therefore, forty days after Jesus was born they “took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22). This was done in recognition of God’s command, “The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to Me” (Exodus 13:2). They also offered a sacrifice as a burnt offering and sin offering, “a pair of doves and two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24).
This was the process all Jews followed when a child was born. But when Joseph and Mary entered the temple court, holding the baby Jesus, something stirred in a man called Simeon.
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
Simeon approach Joseph and Mary, held Jesus and gave a wonderful praise and prophesy. But let’s not miss what was said about this man called Simeon. He was devoted to God, and he was waiting. How long was he willing to wait? Well, the only time frame he was given was that he would have his answer sometime before he died. He did not know if this would mean days, months, or many years, but he was willing to wait.
We need to regain this ability, this trust which is content to wait for God’s direction. The promises of God are that He will reveal His direction, He will lead, comfort, and “renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31), but we must be willing to wait and continue to do what we know we have already been given to do. During this Christmas season, let’s renew our trust in the God who has so perfectly revealed Himself through the birth of Jesus. Let’s commit to following Him all our days and be determined to trust Him through a lifetime of waiting.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries