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How Long?

Oh, how we fret when we must wait. 
Somehow how culture has created a ‘hunger’ in us to hurry, to speed
through life in every aspect of existence. 
We ignore the thousand years is a day for God – Rome wasn’t built in a
day – and we hurry to the finish line. 
We wait until we go to school and then plod impatiently through the 12
years of learning.  We rush to become an
adult, until we see all the laws and regulations that are required to be grown
up.  There are taxes, the first job, the
first car and the marriage. 
And then there are the children. 
Nine months of expectantly waiting? 
And still that isn’t enough to know a lifetime of responsibility that
happens after nine months of waiting for the birth.  The first twenty years is hands-on care and
then comes the years of prayer as the children find their way in life.  The next part of the package is when the
grandchildren arrive who tug on the heart strings.  And much more prayer fills our lives..
How long?  Each stage of life has
its wait-time priorities.  How a baby
frets when food is not readily available, and it continue through life.  Needs to be met change, as also the wants
also change with time.
Then comes the time of asking, how long do I have to live?  Illness and disease toward the end of life
gives us reason to ask, “How Long?”  How
long do I have until I am well?  I
watched my Grosmom Siemens sit for hours on our front porch rocking and singing.  Somehow I knew she was waiting.  As she rocked in rhythm of the song she sang,
I wondered what she was thinking… “Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful,
the beautiful river? Gather with the saints at the river that flows by the
throne of God!
  Did she see her parents,
her husband, Jacob Siemens, or her little Annaka who crossed the river in years past and
were in the presence of God?  Then the
diminutive Grosmom, who loved to give us molasses cookies, lay dying after a
stroke. I sat by her bed as the fan tried to cool the room from the intense Oklahoma August sun.  How long would it be?  I thought about all the stories she told me
about coming to this country from Saratov, Russia.  And now her soul was waiting to be called
home. 
Later, I watched my Mom enter that final waiting period.  She was impatiently waiting, crying out to
God.  Mom knew her ‘exit lane’ from this
life.  She was not afraid. She did not
like the processing of waiting.
Last Sunday I heard our pastor paint a word picture of Simeon who waited
for the Messiah to come to rescue Israel (Luke 2:26)   Did he wait impatiently?  Did he want to do something while he
waited?  No, Simeon just waited.  He did not groan and call out to the Lord,
How Long?  When Joseph and Mary came to
the temple, he took the Baby into his arms and said….”Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace as you have
promised.  I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people. 
He is the Light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the glory of
your people Israel!”
  Luke 2:29-32.
Waiting is Worship!  is the
thought attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor, who was
part of the resistance movement against Nazism and executed in April 1945.
The key is, how do we wait? 
Impatiently?  Or do we wait
patiently at the doctor’s office, at a stoplight or for something to finish baking,
or to feel better, a wedding, a baby, to receive an important letter or
email?  Whatever kind of waiting we
experience, it is the kind or quality of waiting that makes the difference.
Impatiently waiting is to whine out messages, “How long must I
wait?”  With King David, we cry, I am
sick at heart.  How long, O LORD, until
you restore me?
Psalm 6:3.  Or with
Habakkuk we groan, ‘How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not
listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, 
but you do not come to save
.’ Habakkuk 1:2
Waiting is Worship!  Waiting
with patience is a virtue.  Waiting with
patience is a Fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) But the Holy Spirit
produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and
self-control. There is no law against these things!
But we are citizens of heaven,
where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return
as our Savior.  

Philippians 3:20

• And so, dear friends,
while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found
living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. 2 Peter 3:14
• So also Christ was
offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.
He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all
who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:28
Waiting is the essence of the Advent, the birth of Jesus Christ.  We count down the days to the coming of
Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Hope of
the world.  What makes waiting
easier?  Prayer.  Prayer for patience and that the Lord speaks
to us of eternal things.  May our moments
and days of waiting be moments with our Lord. 
Waiting is worship.
Waiting is understanding that we are not in control.  
Waiting is looking up with reverence to the Greatest of all.
Waiting is realizing that the door is shut and can only be opened from the
outside by the Holy One himself; God in the child in the manger;
Jesus.  

God is coming; the Lord Jesus is coming; Christmas is coming.  Wait in
hope.  And rejoice!*

(Thank you, Randy Boltinghouse.)

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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