‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, pray at all times.’ Romans 12:12, The Bible
This week we begin the season of Advent, a time of hope and expectation.
In our country, the average person spends around 5 hours a week, waiting in queues, at traffic lights or for friends. That totals 11 days a year, and given that the average person lives for 80 years, that means we spend well over 2 years, simply waiting. But how good are we at it? In life we are really not very good at waiting, especially when the future is uncertain. Waiting for exam results, waiting for a hospital consultation, waiting to see if the pandemic will affect Christmas again… If we are waiting for something and the outcome is uncertain, this can often lead to worry or fear. This in turn can affect our mental and physical health, our relationships and a whole host of other things. In those times it is important to enjoy the ‘now’ rather than worrying about a future we cannot control.
Yet, can waiting sometime be a good thing?
When we plant a bulb we have to wait a long time for it to blossom and flower. The same is true with a baby in the womb or a cake in the oven. In all those cases, to cease to wait would be disastrous. The thing that helps us to be patient is the hope of something good…the bulb will flower, the baby will be born, the cake will be delicious. Christian faith is like this.
Before Jesus was born, people were living under heavy Roman oppression. Many people had given up expecting that God would send a Saviour to rescue them, but a few waited in hope. Into that darkest of nights the Light of the World was born. Jesus promised that he would come again, but next time he will come as King and every eye will see him and every tongue will confess that he is Lord!
Whilst we can know Jesus now and feel his love now, we still have to be patient for the time when he will come again and restore all things to perfection.
The Hebrew name for God is Yahweh (????) and Exodus 3:14 in the bible tells us that it means
“I AM”. God is not called ‘I was’ or ‘I will be’, but simply I AM. He is in the present, the here and now.
He is the One who ‘IS’. He is your Comfort, your King, your Rock, your Loving Father, your Advocate, your Provider, your Creator, your Counsellor, your Healer, your Hope, your Light of the World and so much more… and He is those things now.
As we wait for that glorious day, let us be the ones who are ‘joyful in hope, patient in affliction and persistent in prayer’ (Romans 12:12) and maybe spend some quiet time this week reflecting upon the One who is our all sufficient ‘I AM’ in the here and now.