December 07, 2020
Waiting is the hardest part about Christmas. As children it seemed as if Christmas would never come. If you are a Chronicles of Narnia fan, you know that C.S. Lewis described Narnia under the wicked Queen as being “always winter but never Christmas.”
That’s exactly what it feels like when you are waiting for God to act.
In Luke 2:25-26 we are introduced to a man named Simeon.
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him.It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah.
Simeon had been waiting a long time, but the people of God had been waiting even longer. In fact, the nation of Israel had been waiting more than 700 years to see God’s promise fulfilled. What was Simeon waiting for? The phrase Luke used was “the consolation of Israel.” That’s actually the same Greek word used in the New Testament for the Holy Spirit – comforter. In the Old Testament, the Messiah was referred to as the comforter of God. In speaking of the day when God restores Israel, Isaiah 49:13 says,
Shout for joy, you heavens! Earth, rejoice! Mountains break into joyful shouts! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
And in Isaiah 12:1 it says,
On that day you will say: “I will praise You, Lord, although You were angry with me. Your anger has turned away, and You have had compassion on me.
And so the people waited for the comfort of God, the restoration He promised. Simeon went to the temple each day knowing God would reveal His Messiah to Him. It could have been discouraging. Simeon could have given up and gone about his life. Instead, he waited, trusting God and His word.
God is a God who comes to comfort and aid His people. He shows up to bring restoration and healing. He works in ways we cannot fathom to do things we often cannot understand.
What have you been waiting for? What are you hoping and expecting God to do in your life? If He has made you a promise, He will keep it in His time.
I know these four things to be true:
God always keeps His word. He will do what He promised. If you haven’t seen the fulfillment of a promise, just wait. Don’t mistake His waiting for inaction. Trust Him.
God is always right on time. His time is not your time, but His timing is perfect. Trust Him.
God is always working for your best. Usually He works in ways we are not expecting – because we think we know what we need. But God’s knowledge is perfect. And His will for you is too. Trust Him.
God is always drawing you to Himself. His love is bigger than your failure. His mercy is deeper than your sin. His grace is bigger than the problems you face. He is the comforter. Trust Him.
Always winter but never Christmas. Does that describe your waiting? Be patient and wait on God, because December 25th is coming. And when God shows up you will know that it was worth the wait.
Lord, in this season of Advent, teach me to wait. Teach me to trust you. Show me the love and mercy and grace of God in the daily things I take for granted. And, help me to look past the winter I am experiencing and see the Christmas that you’re bringing. Come, Consolation of Israel, and bring your peace to me.
– Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer