In the context of this post, a waiter = “one who waits.”
“YOU USUALLY HAVE TO WAIT FOR THAT WHICH IS WORTH WAITING FOR.” Craig Bruce
Most of the time, I consider myself pretty good at waiting. And, I’ve often said to Steve that the ANTICIPATION (and planning) of a trip is almost as good as the actual trip itself. I waited through my three pregnancies, and I waited for the births of 13 grandchildren. I am waiting, waiting, waiting for our new house to be completed. (Okay, so maybe that’s not a good example because my patience has worn pretty thin lately).
I’ve waited for health to return after sickness or surgery (for myself or a loved one), and I’ve waited for letters, checks or emails. I’ve waited on many phone calls through the years — boyfriends who promised to call, doctors with medical results, news that Steve or the kids had arrived safely to their destinations or were on their way home. During college, I waited for grades to be posted or the results of various auditions to appear.
I will confess that I waited anxiously for Christmas Day to arrive when I was a child, I waited anxiously for times when we’d fly to the States and hug on our family members when we lived in Ecuador, and I’ll admit that I had a prominently-visible count-down calendar on my desk as I awaited the day of my retirement.
But, my periods of waiting pale in comparison to those of two people in the Bible who are mentioned in Luke 2:25-38 — Simeon and Anna. I must stop here and give full credit to a blog post written by my cousin’s husband who stimulated my thinking today. His name is Danny Franks, and you can read some of his remarkable posts at dfranks.com. Danny is the Connections Pastor for Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Simeon and Anna had both waited a long time for a Savior to rescue them. Decades of watching and waiting. Here are their stories from The Living Bible translation:
Luke 2:25-33 “That day a man named Simeon, a Jerusalem resident, was in the Temple. He was a good man, very devout, filled with the Holy Spirit and constantly expecting the Messiah to come soon. 26 For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen him—God’s anointed King. 27 The Holy Spirit had impelled him to go to the Temple that day; and so, when Mary and Joseph arrived to present the baby Jesus to the Lord in obedience to the law, 28 Simeon was there and took the child in his arms, praising God.
29-31 “Lord,” he said, “now I can die content! For I have seen him as you promised me I would. I have seen the Savior you have given to the world. 32 He is the Light that will shine upon the nations, and he will be the glory of your people Israel!”
33 Joseph and Mary just stood there, marveling at what was being said about Jesus.”
Luke 2:36-38 “Anna, a prophetess, was also there in the Temple that day. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the Jewish tribe of Asher, and was very old, for she had been a widow for eighty-four years following seven years of marriage. She never left the Temple but stayed there night and day, worshiping God by praying and often fasting. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she also began thanking God and telling everyone in Jerusalem who had been awaiting the coming of the Savior that the Messiah had finally arrived.
I have a lot to learn about waiting. What about you? As we eagerly await Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, maybe we should think about things in our lives that are worth praying for, anticipating, and yes, waiting for in the future. Naturally, I hope to live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow into strong, accomplished Followers of Christ. I want to see the impact they can make on the world. But, the older I get, the more I anticipate heaven. God promised Simeon that he wouldn’t die before he saw the Messiah. God has promised ME that when I die, I will see Him in all His glory. Hallelujah!! I know it will be worth the wait.
Photo credit: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-bored-people-waiting-image27934571