No doubt if you have children, or had them, you have experienced the anticipation of Christmas. The building angst of every child waiting to open the gifts that are under the tree. They’re scouring the gifts, looking for the ones that have their name on them. Then, they begin to wonder what the contents of the wrapped box is. The size, shape, weight, ribbons, bows, all the decorative items are used as a clue to the contents. Each of those begin the long wait to finally move beyond wondering to knowing. They know the gift is theirs. They know that it is promised, because it’s already under the tree. It’s wrapped for them and their name is on it. The waiting can be excruciating.
Have you ever felt that excruciating pain of waiting? Maybe you are feeling that excruciating pain even now. You know what’s been promised. You know the shape, weight, and design of what has been promised, and you know it’s yours. However, the wait is difficult, because of the anticipation of the fulfillment, or the unveiling, or unwrapping of your promise!
Be assured, you’re not alone. Thankfully the Bible gives us hope that the promise God gives us will come to pass.
In Genesis 18:1-15, Abraham and Sarah were promised a child. Sarah struggled to believe this promise. She believed that this promise was impossible because of the current conditions of her life. She had desire for a child, but couldn’t get past the circumstances of her own life. However, like her, you also will know that there is nothing too hard for God, and nothing is impossible for God (Matthew 19:26). In Genesis 21, you read where God kept that promise and Sarah did conceive a child. Likewise, God will keep His promise to you. Nevertheless, there are lessons that can be learned from Sarah, about what not to do in our waiting season.
Maybe you are like Daniel and you have prayed for God to do something, yet you haven’t received an answer. Daniel was praying for a city. Though response didn’t come when Daniel thought it would come, it actually came twenty-one days after he prayed. When you read Daniel chapter 10, you will find that God actually heard the prayer the day Daniel prayed it, and answered the prayer. It just took longer for Daniel to know that. There was a time of waiting for Daniel. Therefore, we shouldn’t get frustrated when we pray that results don’t happen instantaneously. Be confident that God heard when you prayed and the answer is on its way (Daniel 9:1-19, Daniel 10:1-12).
In the New Testament there was a woman who had an issue of blood. You can read about her in Mark 5:21-34. This was a woman who had this issue for twelve years. Now, twelve years may not seem like a long time, unless you are the one dealing with the issue. Over those twelve years, she had tried to get help from doctors, but couldn’t find any help. One day, she heard that Jesus was coming through. Having heard He was a healer, she determined to get to Him. I would love to know the determination that was in this woman on that day. She ignored the rules of the day, in regards to her condition, and pressed through, and in, to get a touch of Jesus. One touch of the hem of His garment changed her life so much. Like her, you should know that one touch of Jesus can eradicate a lifetime of waiting.
Whether your wait was twenty-one days, twelve years, or an, it’s only four days’ time does not stop God. The reality is, the only things which stop God is our lack of faith and our pride. John 11:1-44 rehearses a miracle that was four days in the waiting. You see, the time you have had to wait doesn’t increase, or decrease, the value of the miracle. The woman waited twelve years. Mary and Martha waited four days. Both were miraculous; the woman with the issue of blood received her life back just as Lazarus received his life back. You can be breathing and have your life robbed from you. What I love about Jesus is, He restores all.
The story of Lazarus is a reminder to us that, even though our situation seems beyond the realm of possibility, regardless of how final it looks, Jesus can bring it back to life. It could be that, right now, Jesus is commanding the obstacles that others have placed in front of your miracle, to be moved. Remember, He told them to remove the stone, some obstacles need to be removed by those who placed them there. I believe that this is sign of faith by Martha and those around the tomb. If they didn’t believe that Jesus would raise him, they wouldn’t have obeyed the command to remove the stone. When we are in the waiting for our miracle, may we remain in faith and stay obedient to the words of the Lord in our lives.
Lastly, in John 5:1-5, there was man laying by a pool located in the town of Bethesda. This man laid there for thirty-eight years. Can you imagine the despair, hopelessness, and discouragement this man must have experienced over those thirty-eight years? However, when Jesus came to Him, none of his experiences of the past thirty-eight years stopped Jesus. Secondly, it didn’t stop this man either. When Jesus told Him to get up and walk, the man didn’t rehearse what happened all those thirty-eight years. This man came and laid in faith, He was there to be healed. When healing came, even though it wasn’t by the pool, but by the Word of the Lord, he received it. So too, even though you’ve thought the gift would come one way, it may come another. Don’t reject your promise, because the package isn’t what you thought it was.
Remember that a delay is not a denial. Waiting is difficult, but don’t lose hope! Remember that HE is in the waiting, and He has heard. He has already answered and the answer is on its way!