It is difficult to wait. Then what is God’s purpose in keeping us waiting? The first Christmas itself came after centuries of waiting since God first promised the coming of a Saviour at the Garden of Eden. But then why so long? Are there lessons for us to learn from this long wait for Christmas?
The foremost lesson is that God waits because he has a time for everything.Those who trust God sometimes have to walk in the dark. This is frightening at times. It is during those times we feel hopeless and forsaken and without human help. But then it is to help us learn to lean on God alone that we are allowed to pass through darkness. The only consolation then is the knowledge that God has held us by his right hand and he knows the way we are walking through. At the end at the right time he’ll bring us to to the desired end and there will be light.
The second lesson is that God waits to prepare us to receive. This is difficult to accept because we live in a world of instant food, speed travel and fast communication. The present generation of kids do not know that “No” is an answer they need to learn to accept. And lot of harm is being done by giving kids things to use which they need to grow up to use. Likewise there is great harm if God gave everything we ask for; because we often are not prepared to receive the gifts he wants to give. Therefore Christmas motivates us to know that God is preparing us to receive.
The third lesson is that God waits to prepare circumstances to be right. The method of death by crucifixion was unknown in Jewish culture. So God who is in control of human history waited till Rome ruled the land so that the Saviour would die on the cross by shedding his precious blood for the world. Even when are asleep, God who sleeps not is at work behind the scenes to make every little detail of circumstance right before he acts on our behalf. Therefore Christmas compels us to know the God who defies all laws of probability to act on behalf of his children.
Another important lesson is that God waits to purify our motives. Most of our prayers are not answered because they are downright selfish. It is a sad modern tale that people have turned our Saviour Jesus to a Santa Claus who comes to give gifts. But if we look at the first Christmas it was announced by the angel that the Saviour’s birth was good news of great joy to all the world. Yet many prefer to keep the good news to themselves. No; it should not be. Good news is to all the world. Unless and until our prayers include others especially the less privileged; only then can God answer our prayers. Therefore Christmas tells us that we are blessed to be channels of blessing to others and not storage tanks.
This Christmas, let us learn to appreciate waiting. The promises for those who wait and hope in the Lord are many. They who wait are blessed and those who hope in the Lord shall soar on wings like eagles!