In a world that demands immediate results, it is hard to be patient and wait for a plan to unfold. Perhaps, we rage against the notion of waiting because we wrongly assume that passivity is implied. Most of us think of ourselves as “doers,” and doers have little interest in a passive lifestyle. Christian waiting, though, is not the resigned indifference to “come what may.” It is, rather, the active pursuit of God’s purposes even as we acknowledge that God’s kingdom has yet to be fully realized.
I suspect that we also resist the concept of waiting because we prefer the destination over the journey. Any who have journeyed long enough will tell you that the path is messy, complicated, and meandering. Rarely do we move forward in a straight line. Challenges abound.
In Advent, we are awaiting the transformational work of God, made visible in the birth of Christ. Yet, as Erica Knisely reminds us, “Transformation requires a gestational period often accompanied by pain. This is not a justification of suffering. It simply acknowledges that waiting in hope and struggling in pain are noticeable rhythms in the life of the people of God living in a world not yet fully made new. Suffering does not mean forsakenness.”
As we await the coming of the Lord, many of us feel assailed by the darkness of loneliness, broken relationships, and unfulfilled dreams. Some of us are disappointed by our professional lives or are concerned about the state of the church. Why can’t things move more quickly? Why must there be such a gulf between what we long for and what actually is? Why can’t we just get to Christmas and Easter already? For this and every Advent, our unwavering testimony is that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it.”
Peace and best wishes,