Waiting is not one of my strengths. Whether it’s waiting at a stoplight or for impending news, I wait with impatience and anxiety. Most, if not all, things in life require patience. Before the birth of Jesus, the world longed for a Savior and their waiting was relieved with a baby boy. Today, we long for His return. It’s easy to find relief on the other side of waiting, but where can we find true joy in whatever season of patience we find ourselves?
“When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as Sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
When I came across this scripture, the first line struck me, “When the time came to completion…” As Christians we are told to find joy in the waiting and everything is made beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is all true, but I think we are quick to forget something vital in the story of Jesus. God is not only with us in waiting, but God waits too. He could have saved us immediately. He could have, but he didn’t. He waited for the right moment in history to send Jesus. The right moment in our brokenness to send hope, born of a woman. The world waited for His greatness and glory to be revealed. As they waited, they had no idea what it would look like. Jesus was not exactly the mighty Savior everyone expected. But on the other side of the waiting, we have received adoption. As we wait, God also waits. He could opt for clarity, answers and solutions immediately. But instead, He waits.
Why does He choose to wait? He chooses it because God is a God of patience and seasons. Not only does He call us to this life, but it is how He works too. God waited to send Jesus, and then Jesus waited 30 years to begin His ministry. I think about Mary in her 9 months of waiting to give birth to Emmanuel. The fear and troubles she experienced during that time, but also the peace and intimacy she experienced with the Lord as she prepared to bring hope into the world in the form of her child. There must have been sweetness she felt in the quiet moments of uncertainty as she held her growing stomach, wondering if she could do it, and God met her with comfort. God prepared her with each month of waiting before Jesus’ birth.
In this season, I have been striving to find real hope in the waiting. Personally, I’m waiting on answers and clarity for what the future holds in my life. We are all waiting on something. Whether you are waiting for love, an answer to prayer, a job, a house, good health, or a baby you have prayed and wept for- we have to believe these seasons of unknown are not in vain. If God is Love and He brings waiting, than those seasons must reveal love and beauty in ways immediacy does not. It is a conscious decision every day to choose to believe in this truth, but I have no doubt when Mary first held Jesus in the musty, crowded stable, she didn’t think about the days of fear and ridicule from others. Rather, she remembered God’s goodness and provision.
I’m choosing to find comfort that God does not only call me to wait, but He waits too. In fact, He chooses it. Joy does not only have to come on the other side, where prayers are answered and clarity is found, but in the unknown too. If God calls us to those seasons of trust, there has to be beauty hidden in moments waiting to be uncovered that will only bring us closer to His presence. That is my prayer for us in this season. Whatever this season looks like for us, we are all longing for something deep in our hearts that feels unmet. While the world waited for a Savior, God waited to send Him, and He humbly came at the right time. Wait with the Lord and seek the beauty to be found in this season. Take heart, hope is coming.
words by Lauren Grindstaff and photo by Hailey Pierce