By Jamin Roller
We all know the experience of waiting. This is a time of year when we are all anticipating Christmas in some way. Even outside of a holiday season, our days are marked by different experiences of waiting. We wait in line at the store. We wait for test results. We wait for work to end. We wait for babies to be born. We wait for healing to come. We wait for fights to resolve. We wait for the game to start. Waiting is part of life.
Yet, while the experience of waiting is common to everyone, what we are waiting for impacts the climate of our hearts while we wait. We do not feel the same waiting in line at the store as waiting for the doctor to tell us what the scan revealed. We wait for a baby to be born differently than for a game to start. What we wait for affects how we wait.
The passages for today are full of wonderful reminders of what it means to wait as a Christian. They tell us both, what we are waiting for and how we should wait in response. We are waiting for the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65:17). We are waiting for God to make everything new (Revelation 21:5). We are waiting to see God’s face (Revelation 22:4). We are waiting for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23). There is a future coming for us as Christians that is full of God’s glory and setting right of everything wrong in us and His world. That is what we are waiting for.
In light of that glorious future, these passages tell us how to wait. We wait eagerly and with patience (v.25). We wait with gladness and rejoicing (Isaiah 65:18). We wait with confidence because our waiting is based on a promise from a promise-keeping God (2Peter 3:13).
If I am honest, eager patience, rejoicing and confidence is not often the climate of my heart. After sitting with these passages, I am wondering if it’s because I think too much about trivial things and not enough about the glorious future described in these pages. I am not merely someone who is waiting for work to end, a fight to resolve, or a game to start. Those things are part of life, but in Christ, there is a day that holds more weight over my future and yours. It’s the day when God’s promise will be realized and we will see that “righteousness dwells” forever (v.13).
We would do well to give more of our attention and affection to the promised future our Savior is bringing. May the Lord help us wait faithfully with patience, rejoicing, and confidence.