The Waiting

“The days are surely coming, says the LORD,

when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

Jeremiah 33:14

Let me be clear: The spiritual discipline of waiting is not my favorite.  From my earliest memories surrounding Christmas, my lack of interest in waiting displayed itself in always being the first to have unwrapped all of my gifts.  And even that didn’t always hold surprise, thanks to my well-honed skill of shaking and shifting packages with the intent of detecting the gift held inside.

Yet, here we are, entering Advent – a season of waiting.  The prophet Jeremiah gives voice to the waiting in this Sunday’s Old Testament reading from the lectionary.  The people of God were waiting for the Messiah – and the waiting wasn’t fun for them either.  Jeremiah doesn’t deny the pain of the present for God’s people.  He is, after all, known as the weeping prophet.  And still, in the midst of the dark days, in the midst of the hard waiting, Jeremiah holds out the hope that is found in the promise of God.

I can almost hear God whispering through the proclamation of the prophet, “Children, I know it is hard, this waiting.  But hold on to my promise.  The day is coming, I promise you this.  Justice and righteousness are on the way – new life, springing from what seemed like a long dead hope.  Jesus is almost here.  Just hold on.”

I know there are a lot of folk who feel like they are waiting on a Word from God that is taking way too long to be delivered.  Waiting for the call from an estranged love one.  Waiting for a plan from the doctors for treatment.  Waiting for what the future of our church may hold.  Waiting for justice and peace to replace hatred and oppression.  Waiting for someone…anyone…to tell them that they are loved and they are enough.  Waiting for the good news that their hope will not disappoint.

If I could have the audacity to speak a word from God to God’s people in this moment, it would be: Whatever promise you are waiting for God to fulfill, child, hold on.  I know the waiting is hard, and it seems like it’s taking forever.  But I promise you this – God has a 100% record of faithfulness in keeping promises – and the streak is not going to end with you.

Lauren Daigle, whose lyrics and voice and heart regularly come together to wreck me, sings these words:

You are not hidden

There’s never been a moment

You were forgotten

You are not hopeless

Though you have been broken

Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath

I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you

In the middle of the darkest night

It’s true, I will rescue you

There is no distance

That cannot be covered

Over and over

You’re not defenseless

I’ll be your shelter

I’ll be your armor

I hear you whisper underneath your breath

I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you

In the middle of the darkest night

It’s true, I will rescue you

I will never stop marching to reach you

In the middle of the hardest fight

It’s true, I will rescue you

Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Paul Mabury / Lauren Daigle

Rescue lyrics © Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

The promise to which we cling during this Advent season (and always), is that help is on the way.  And His name is Jesus.  The One whose birth we celebrate, whose presence is our sustaining, and whose return we long for, hears and knows and loves and rescues.  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

 

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