Speaking Of Life 1002 | Expectant Waiting
Most of us don’t like to wait. And while most waiting does seem painful and arduous – like standing in line, or sitting in traffic – sometimes waiting brings great excitement – like anticipating a family reunion or planning a vacation with friends.
It’s easy to allow the rush toward Christmas celebrations during Advent to cause us to overlook the great spiritual excitement and advantage of waiting. It’s easy to forget that in God’s economy, waiting is of great value, for it helps us understand where our hope lies. What we dream about and our goals reveal the foundation we are building our lives upon.
Throughout the pages of the Bible we see God’s message of expectant waiting. The prophets spent their lives pointing to the coming of the Messiah. All of Judea was in anticipation of a Savior and King.
The New Testament church was constantly reminded to look ahead with expectancy and anticipation – and to continue to fulfill the new command Jesus gave us to love others as he loves us. The apostle Paul said this to the church at Philippi:
And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. Phil 1:9-11
Note that this is not worry-filled, nervous waiting, trying to earn our way into the kingdom. Instead, it’s a hope-filled, stand-on-the-tip-of-your-toes, excited waiting. Paul encourages the church at Philippi by pointing out that they are to continue doing what they have been doing – letting their love overflow.
In Jesus, we already are included in the life and love of the Father. We are already experiencing his kingdom rule and reign. And still we wait in this tension of already but not yet.
This Advent season, let’s keep learning and practicing the discipline of waiting that challenges us all. To place our hope in Jesus – knowing that he continues to form us as we wait.
Knowing for whom and for what we wait enables our waiting to be active and expectant. We are not looking for a king or kingdom of our own—our King has come, and he invites us to help build his kingdom as we await his return in glory.
I am Michelle Fleming, Speaking of Life!