Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ…And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.—Luke 2:25-26, 36-38
This Christmas I am reminded that some of our very first lessons in waiting come during childhood. Whether we are waiting for Christmas or some other special day like a much anticipated birthday, we learn waiting is a part of life.
Waiting is not my forte. I’m not very good at it. I don’t do it voluntarily. I don’t do it with a smile or even very patiently. But it’s a part of life, even if it is an unwelcome part so I’m learning to become better at waiting. I pray, grant me the gift of waiting gracefully!
Anna and Simeon are examples of graceful waiting. While they waited for the fulfillment of prophecy and redemption for Jerusalem, each one learned how to wait in the Lord as well as on Him and they were not disappointed. Lord, teach me to wait gracefully!
Teach me to wait, not only on important calendar dates but wait until the Holy Spirit comes to help, strengthen and assist me for more power in living and praying.
In my era I am the new Simeon and Anna. I am not waiting for the first arrival of the Messiah as they were, but on Your return. And my waiting should be as productive as theirs. I need to use my time well. I need to prepare for Your arrival just as they did with prayer and fasting and sharing the good news about Your coming with others. Lord, teach me to wait gracefully and productively!
When I forget what I’m doing, or why I am doing it, when I forget what the purpose of waiting is about, remind me, Lord that not everyone knows You yet. Not everyone is ready for Your return and therefore my waiting and watching should be with thoughtfulness and patience and prayer.
I realize there are many gifts I could come away with this Christmas. But today I ask for the gift of waiting. It’s an unassuming package, it’s not the prettiest under the tree, but it holds great blessings for me and others! Amen.