Paul gives us an astonishing understanding of waiting in the New Testament book of Romans, as rendered by Eugene Peterson, “Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” With such motivation, we can wait as we sense God is indeed with us, and at work within us, as he was with Mary as the Child within her grew.
Though the protracted waiting time is often the place of distress, even disillusionment, we are counseled in the book of James to “let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete.” Pain, grief, consternation, even despair, need not diminish us. They can augment us by ading to the breadth and depth of our experience, by enriching our spectrum of light and darkness, by keeping us from impulsively jumping into action before the time is ripe, before the “the fullness of time.” I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope.
By Luci Shaw
Excerpted from God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas, Edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe (Paraclete Press)