December 14 - Alli Barker

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:1-5

When I think of waiting I am reminded of the poetic words from the book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. The book shows all kinds of places one might go and among the many places Dr. Suess takes us he describes, “a most useless place. The Waiting Place…”

“...for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or the waiting around for a yes or no or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.”

Every time I read through this I feel a shadow of anxiety coming over me…the feeling of being trapped and bored; it’s like being in a slow line at the grocery store and not knowing if, even having waited a while, it might still be better to just hop over and try a different lane. I cringe thinking about how awful it would be if a place like this “Waiting Place” existed.

But then here we are in the Advent season, entering into a story that God ordained and is filled with waiting! This “useless” waiting must form something in us that is more precious than our time and our agenda.

God is doing a work in us and waiting is the method of choice. But why waiting? In a movie called Evan Almighty the question seems to be answered in a question; “If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?”

This is why we wait. We wait because we are called to love, and love is patient. We wait because we are called to live as Jesus did; and Jesus was not in a rush. We wait  because God uses it to form us into people with hope; into people who know there’s something worth waiting for! And this hope makes all things new!