In life, we all wait. Whether you are someone who can withstand waiting or someone who is constantly battling with their lack of patience, we all experience it.
Many times though, we think that waiting for something means that we are being deprived of what we really want. This makes sense because in the fast-paced world of today, we have become used to expecting whatever it is that we need and receiving it instantly. However, at some point we realise that we cannot accomplish what we want on our own. Delays are a gift because they drive us to be dependent on God. A gift meant to draw us to surrender to God’s providence. The reality is that waiting is a chance for us to change and grow before we receive what we are anticipating.
Each individual experiences their period of waiting in different ways. Some may fall into the trap of thinking that God’s promises are empty, the more they are made to wait. Others embrace this period of dryness with an increasing trust in God.
You see, waiting has purpose.
It is often the case that the more we wait, the more we appreciate the gift once it is given to us. A child will be made to wait until Christmas morning to receive his gift from his parents, and so his joy is fuller, his excitement irreplaceable. It is hard to take anything for granted when you have had to wait for it. Greater appreciation is instilled when we wait. On many occasions, when the wait is finally over, it is almost as if we forget we ever had to wait because the joy that is felt surpasses the delay that occurred.
God will make you wait.
Why? Because very often we are not ready to receive what God wants to accomplish for us. The training an athlete undergoes or the learning of a musical instrument is often strenuous and dry. St. Augustine explains that often God delays in answering prayers because He wants the heart of the one who prays to expand in order to receive what God has promised. The period of waiting is an act of love from God who wishes to prepare our hearts to receive His gifts fully. In the process of waiting, spiritual transformations happen, our hearts become more receptive to Him. Waiting takes discipline. It takes time, faith and prayer to accept but rest assured that as we wait, deeper trust in Him is instilled, and consequently our faith increases.
Waiting means hope, a period of trust that God in His divine mercy will come through for us in ways we cannot see. Hope is different to anticipation. Anticipation makes us expect something. Hope allows us to expect nothing but to look forward to whatever joy God has promised for us.
As we enter Advent (a word derived from the Latin words, ad-venio or adventus, which both signify a coming), we look forward to the coming of our Saviour.
This season of waiting is a time for us to fall back into His rest. God takes this opportunity to work both in us and through us, so be sure to open your hearts to Him. Use the next four weeks of Advent to embrace God’s love as He delivers to us the greatest gift of all time, His Son.
God is never late but He is never early either. His timing and purposes are always perfect. Despite our concerns, impatience and questioning, God reminds us that, “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” [Ecclesiastes 3:1]
In time, at the right time, in His time, we will see.