The Waiting Game

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The Waiting Game

by Ryan Paulson

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I can remember hearing the words, “I’m pregnant!” It was with great joy that those words met my hears. We had almost 8 months to get used to the idea, to get ready for his arrival, and to try to explain to the two other kids that they were going to be getting a baby brother (I’m not sure they really understood until he came home… and stayed). If you’ve been in this position before, then you know in one sense the time flies by, but in another sense it seems to take forever! I had so many questions that bounced around in my head: what will he look like? What will his little cry sound like? Will he be more like me or more like his mom? And, the longer we wait, the more the anticipation builds. I realized I am not very good at waiting.

The Israelites had become pretty ‘good’ at waiting.  They had been given a promise. It was a promise that would completely change the way they lived. It would have turned their oppressed existence on its head. It would have brought prosperity, hope, and joy. Listen to the promise they were given by God through the prophet Isaiah:

[6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 )

Sounds great doesn’t it? The government will be on His shoulders and not the shoulders of the Roman Empire. There will be peace and joy. And his Kingdom will never end. It does, the only problem is that they had to wait about 700 years for the promise to be fulfilled! Can you imagine? I wonder if they started to doubt that God would be good on his word. I wonder if the words started to become a little bit hallow. I wonder if the anticipatory nature that a promise like this should evoke started to wane.

Christmas is a time when we have the opportunity to step back and remember that God makes good on all of his promises. It’s a time to remember that even when it seems like He is silent, he is still at work. It’s a time to allow ourselves to once again, in a fresh way, ANTICIPATE all that He will do in and through our lives.

Take a few minutes today, pause, and think of some of the promises of God that you are clinging to.

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