Waiting. Most of the time, it’s not something we enjoy. We have come to expect, in our instant society, that waiting is unnecessary and couldn’t possibly be good. Psalm 94 was written by someone who had also grown weary of waiting. Israel was being oppressed with no end in sight. Circumstances were bleak as God’s people waited for Him to act on their behalf.
Yet, despite oppression and persecution, the author of Psalm 94 waited expectantly. His hope was in God, and he knew that the dark days of waiting would, one day, end in justice.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Psalm 94:14-15, ESV
We are just beginning Advent, the yearly season of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Jesus. During this season, we anticipate and prepare for many good things—gifts, visiting relatives, cherished traditions. But all too often, in the midst of the parties and presents and tinsel and togetherness, we forget how dark the world would be without Immanuel. We have no eager anticipation for our Savior. We prepare to give the perfect gifts but fail to prepare our hearts to receive the greatest gift of all.
This year, I want to wait expectantly. I want to pause and consider the sin-filled darkness that burst forth with the Light of the World. I want to consider the utter hopelessness that was banished by the one true Hope. I want to place many “the cares of my heart” at the feet of Immanuel, God with us, and expect that He will “cheer my soul” (v 19). I want to look back and remember the birth of Christ while looking forward to His glorious appearing. I want to be intentional in my waiting. Like the Psalmist, I want to wait with hope, remembering that waiting is good and necessary. This year, I want to wait well.
The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon
the likes of which we have never seen before.
So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.
There will be time enough for running.