Waiting. Waiting. Waiting

Today’s reading: Luke 1:57-66

I don’t like waiting. I don’t like waiting so much that I would rather stand on a train for an hour than drive home from work and wait in traffic. I would rather eat half cooked toast than wait the 30 seconds for the toaster to do its job properly. I would rather have lukewarm coffee than wait for the jug to boil.

I don’t like waiting.

The passage today from Luke is about the birth of John the Baptist – the greatest of all the prophets. While the reading provides the backstory to the birth of John it is the story of his mum – Elizabeth – that is of interest this morning.

Long-suffering Elizabeth

Earlier in the chapter we learn that Elizabeth and Zechariah were barren. They had been waiting a long time for a family and it seemed as if this blessing had passed them by. In those times (as it is today) infertility was a cause of great anxiety and stress. In bible times it was a “disgrace” to not be able to have children.

How many times over the decades had Elizabeth cried out to God to give them a child? Waiting. Waiting. Waiting! It must have seemed all hope was gone when the news finally came that she was pregnant with a son.

Waiting on the Lord

I have not experienced the pain of infertility however I know what it is like to wait on the Lord. I know many of you have too.

  • Waiting for healing.
  • Waiting for a job.
  • Waiting for a life partner.
  • Waiting for the pain to end.
  • Waiting for a loved one to come to salvation.
  • Waiting to finish school or the degree or the project.
  • Waiting ….

The Lord gave Elizabeth what he gives to all who wait on him – hope and strength to persevere.

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

God can be relied upon to keep His promises – on time, in full, everytime!

Today

This Christmas let’s remember that God keeps his promises. Israel waited for a promised saviour and God delivered in the most extraordinary and unexpected way and gave them (and us) Jesus.

This Christmas let’s receive hope – hope that Jesus will save us and provide all we need for today and for 2017 – hope for our friends and family who are lost and hurting – hope that Jesus will return again to make things right and call us to be with Him forever.

This Christmas let’s receive strength – strength and encouragement to persevere confident that our God is the Lord of history and He loves us more than we can imagine.

Peter.

 

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One thought on “Waiting. Waiting. Waiting

  1. Thank you Peter. I was reminded back in v6 that Zechariah and Elizabeth we called righteous in Gods sight, living without blame according to all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. I would think that they had both accepted the fact that they were childless and just went on with life. Living to honour the Lord in everything. Then God intervened. A good reminder that God is always on time. Jesus came at the exact right time. We can be confidant that Gods timing is always perfect. He is never early or late. He has mastered perfect timing, always. I see waiting as a discipline for the believer. I guess its what we do in the waiting that God looks at. I find its a great chance to look into our heart when we are waiting for anything. I can find that if I’m not careful I can get impatient with God. Or decide that – like Sarah – God can do with a little help in hurrying things along. As God is working on each of us with differing amounts of grace we can still be confidant that God will do what He says He will do. But also remember that His ways are much higher than our ways and His thoughts regarding my waiting situation will be different to my thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9

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