I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
~ Psalm 27:13-14
The old birdhouse in my back yard about this time of year looks empty. Summer activities have come to an end. It looks abandoned. It appears to be waiting.
As one of my patients shared some time ago, "Patience is learning to live within God's timing."
But "waiting," is something that God's people seem to know a lot about. For centuries God's people looked for the arrival of the Messiah. In the four hundred years between the last prophet, and the angel, Gabriel, appearing to Zechariah, in the Temple to tell him that his wife Elizabeth would bear a child, there had been only waiting.
When the angel appears to Mary, and proclaims, "Fear not!" there had only been waiting.
The people had been waiting. John arrives, and Jesus... but even then, some refused to recognize the son of God walking among the people. For some who recognized Jesus as the Messiah, the words of John, announcing that the "Kingdom of God is at hand," signaled the waiting was over. But then there was the crucifixion. The death. And the resurrection, that left the people waiting once again for the return of Jesus. This is our story. And here we are, "waiting."
I am reminded we are instruments of the living Christ, and as such, we are called to keep hope alive as we await the return of Christ. By keeping hope alive, we allow for the waiting to become easier, while the presence of Christ grows stronger within us. In this way we can wait and live with courage. In our waiting we discover a world where there is spiritual power in us when we gather. In our waiting this hope allows us to live in this world without surrendering to despair.
That is why, in our waiting, we can proclaim the love of God, when we encounter hatred, sorrow, and sadness. In our waiting, we can claim that God is a God of life, even when we encounter death and destruction.
Waiting leads us to affirm one another. Waiting together, nurturing what had already begun, expecting its fulfillment. That is the meaning of waiting while living the Christian life.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.