Advent is the season of waiting. Even the colors of the candles witness the anticipation of waiting. The first three candles that you light are traditionally purple, while the fourth candle is pink signifying the approaching light of Christ on Christmas.
Although the waiting of Advent is familiar and easy to calculate, it persistently calls us back to an uncomfortable reality. We are longing for, desiring, and anticipating what we really want but don’t quite have. Waiting is uncomfortable.
Although I can be sure that December 25 will come, many of the realities I wait for are not as certain. Either way, waiting is rarely comfortable and never fun.
Advent has taught me how to wait. It shows me the value of patience, anticipation and the value of waiting before you receive.
Jesus shows me how to wait. As I wait on Him, He is waiting for me. I am almost learning to find joy in waiting by learning the joy of waiting at Advent. I’m not quite there, but I want to learn to wait like Jesus.
Even the story of Immanuel is a message of waiting. The Nation of Israel had been waiting on their Messiah for hundreds of years before Jesus revealed Himself as the long-awaited anointed One. Thirty years after the angelic appearance to Mary and Joseph’s angelic dreams Jesus made it evident that He was the Son of God, the One they had been looking for. Jesus Himself waited for God’s direction and His perfect timing before He showed the world who God really is by His miracles, teachings and witness.
Jesus told us that He couldn’t wait to have the Passover Dinner with the disciples on the eve of His arrest. He, too, is waiting for the day that He will be united with His complete Bride (all Christians who believe in Him) at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Mark 14:25 says:
Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Jesus is waiting for us. Luke reveals Jesus eagerly waited for something:
And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
I’m learning to wait like Jesus. He trusts God’s perfect timing. I’m even recognizing that when I wait for something, I begin to value it much more. I also recognize that I grow in the process of waiting. The simple act of waiting has a reason and a purpose in itself.
This Advent I welcome the exercise of waiting. I will be thankful for each day that brings my waiting closer to the object of my wait. And when I find myself at Christmas with the waiting over, I will also remember that I am still waiting for the return of Christ to earth. Waiting is worth the wait!