I looked at the clock on my phone for what felt like the hundredth time since I’d walked into the restaurant.
12:44. The numbers stared back at me, taunting me with feelings of rejection and defeat. If clocks could talk, then this one was shouting: They’re not coming because you’re a nobody. Your book isn’t even published yet. Why should they give you the time of day?
My fingers traced the cover of the manuscript I’d brought to share with my no-show lunch date — the message God had put on my heart to share with women; the message I’d been waiting years to get out to a larger audience — and I sighed, placing it back in my purse.
Out of sight, out of mind, right? But that didn’t make the feelings go away.
“Will it just be you eating here, then?” the waitress appeared once again. “Or are you still waiting for someone?”
“It looks like I’ll be dining alone … But I guess that just means more food for me!” I said, trying to make light of the situation. “I’ll have the falafel wrap with a side of soup and hummus, please.”
“Wonderful. I know you’re probably tired of waiting, so I’ll be sure to get the food out to you right away,” he replied.
Waiting is hard. And whether you’re waiting in traffic, waiting for the seasons to change, waiting for your husband to get home from a work trip, or waiting for your dream to come true — waiting is never fun.
I mean, seriously, who likes to wait? Who wakes up and says, “I hope I have to wait for something today?” (If you’re reading this and that’s you, please email me so we can be friends and I can learn your secret!)
All joking aside, if the majority of the world could choose between waiting and not waiting, I think we’d choose the latter. Because chances are if we’re waiting for something, that means we want it pretty bad, but we don’t have it yet.
The Bible is full of people who had to wait ridiculous amounts of time for something they wanted.
Noah and his family waited 40 days and 40 nights for the flooding to end (Genesis 7:12). Abraham waited 100 years to have a son with his wife, Sarah (Genesis 21:5). The people of Israel waited 400 years to be delivered from Egyptian slavery (Acts 7:6) And mankind waited thousands of years for Jesus Christ to be born (Luke 2:7).
As I sat in the café waiting for my lunch date to show up, I thought about Noah, Sarah, Abraham and the Israelites. I thought about the prophecies of Jesus’ coming, and how many years had to pass before those prophecies came true.
Then I thought about my book manuscript. I’d only been waiting a few years for it to be published. Surely if God had placed the message on my heart and wanted it to be in market, I could wait a little bit longer. Better yet, I could trust Him to show up and make things happen even when people didn’t.
We can trust, wait and rest in God, because God always comes through on His promises.
2 Peter 1:4 tells us that “because of his glory and excellence, God has given us great and precious promises” — promises that redeem, restore and sustain us.
All throughout Scripture, God declares His love and devotion for us by fulfilling promise, after promise, after promise for His people.
Not once has God left a promise unfulfilled.
His Word proves that He is faithful to the end. Take a look at this passage from Lamentations 3:22-23:
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Did you catch that? Great is His faithfulness. Not just good. Great, never-ending, never-failing.
Unlike my lunch date who disappointed me when they didn’t show up (turns out they had written the wrong date down in their planner), I can count on God to show up and do a work in and through me — even when the wait seems long.
There’s a difference between waiting on man and waiting on God, and the Advent season reminds us of this. When we wait on one another, there’s an element of uncertainty, distress and confusion. But when we wait upon the Lord, the Bible tells us we become renewed (Isaiah 40:31).
Comfort, joy and strength are given to those who wait upon the Lord.
And those who wait upon the Lord are not without hope, because Hope is the very one they are waiting on. God is love (1 John 4:8). God is life. God is truth (John 14:6) God is hope (Romans 15:13).
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