The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
A Virtue I Don’t Have
Patience is a virtue, they say. But it is not something I have been gifted with. I’m the personification of the phrase “I can’t wait!”
When I was a little boy, Christmas was something that I couldn’t wait for to arrive. Usually around the first time it gets cold enough to snow, I “get the itch,” as it were.
Here it is early November and I’m a-scratching! Granted, I now have an occupational hazard that gives me a reason to scratch the itch. As a preacher I try to stay a couple of weeks – at least – ahead on my sermon writing. And I’m starting to put together my sermons for Advent and Christmas.
In the past, I would also try to get ahead in putting together my annual “Classical Christmas” radio show that would begin the weekend of Thanksgiving and run through New Year’s. But the Classical Stream (the internet radio show I hosted & produced) went on hiatus two years ago.
In its place – in order to continue to “scratch my itch” I’ve been putting together devotions and podcasts of Christmas music. The third book of Christmas devotions based on favorite hymns and carols, and the audio podcasts that will accompany it, is in its final stages. I’ve been working on it since September!
Nancy and I have been getting a head-start on our Christmas shopping, too – we’ve already bought some of gifts for our sons.
Something I’ve learned through the years is that waiting is better than rushing head-long into things.
Wait on the Lord
The prophet Jeremiah wrote:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
The Waiting Life
As I said before, waiting is not something I’m good at. I suspect that I’ll be more like an elderly man who once was speaking to a young fellow standing next to him. “Today is my eighty-sixth birthday,” he said. “And it seems as though I can’t help remembering all the time I spent waiting all of those years.”
“Waiting?” the young man asked.
“Yes,” the eighty-six-year-old replied. “All my life I’ve been waiting for something, or someone. I couldn’t wait to be able to shave. Couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license. I couldn’t wait to have my first date. Couldn’t wait to vote. I couldn’t wait to be engaged. I couldn’t wait to get married. Couldn’t wait to have my first child. I couldn’t wait to have my first grandchild. I couldn’t wait to retire. After all these years of waiting, this much I know. I’m not going to wait one second longer for this bus.”
And he walked off.
As Halloween is now behind us and Thanksgiving is looming fast on our horizon, let us pray that the Lord will make us people that will wait on Him instead of playing the waiting game and wasting away an active life by living the waiting life. (My thanks to Leonard Sweet for sharing the 86-year-old’s waiting story).
Heavenly Father, I pray that you will make me the kind of person that will wait on you and not waste my life by waiting for other things. You are a living God and I want to truly live! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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