My mother has a knack for making things special, and holidays are no exception. My parents host Christmas Eve every year. When I was growing up, my entire family joined in on the festivities. If you are from an Italian family, you understand just how many people that actually is. The house was decorated beautifully in true Christmas spirit. Luminaras lined the driveway. The food was plentiful. Christmas carols echoed throughout the entire house, and laughter could be heard everywhere. I still remember the excitement I felt each Christmas Eve. The anticipation of what was to come overwhelmed me.
That night, we exchanged gifts with the extended family. But there was a catch. We had to wait until the grandfather clock in the foyer struck nine o’clock before we could open the gifts. Guests arrived at six, so you can imagine how long that wait seemed to a child.
To make the wait seem even more unbearable, my mother would line all the cousins up in a row with their presents in their laps about ten minutes before nine. Our little eyes were fixed on the big hand on the clock as the time ticked away. With ten seconds to go, my mother would begin the countdown:
10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
You can imagine the scene that followed. Wrapping paper began to fly everywhere. It was a frenzy of tissue paper and bows. We were all so excited and thankful to open the long-awaited gift.
I know many of you are waiting patiently for the Lord to answer your prayers, and it seems like an eternity. Maybe you are asking God to restore your marriage or a broken relationship. Or perhaps you are waiting for a healing touch in your body or a financial breakthrough. I can assure you that God sees the situation you are in and hears your prayers.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” - Psalm 27:14
I recognize that nobody likes to wait. I certainly don’t. We live in a culture of instant gratification. Fast food . . . instant downloads . . . FastPass . . . to name just a few. But God often has a different plan in mind.
We look at the life of Abraham and see a man that received a tremendous promise from God. The Lord vowed to make Abraham the father of a great nation. He was 75 years old at the time he received this promise and yet, as of then, he didn’t have any children. It took 25 more years for Abraham to see the fulfillment of this promise through the birth of his son Isaac. Although Abraham went through seasons of doubt, God never changed His promise.
But why did God make Abraham wait? The character that is developed in God’s waiting room is significant: faith that can’t be shaken, awareness of God’s promises, the ability to hear God’s voice clearly, a dedicated prayer life, and, most importantly, an appreciation of His faithfulness.
Just like our waiting on Christmas Eve was never easy, waiting on God can be difficult. We need to recognize that the waiting can be a time of great growth and the development of a heart of appreciation for the answered prayer.
Ladies, we need to trust that God will do what His word says He will do. His timing is perfect. Don’t lose hope . . . the clock is just about to strike nine!
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31