In my college years, I was a nanny for the cutest little curly red haired baby girl you ever did see! Her parents traveled quite a bit and it was not unusual that I would often make a drive to the airport to pick up or drop off one of them. Often times, the little one and I would venture into the airport and wait for their arrival.
During these times, I loved to people watch. I would write stories in my mind of who the other individuals at the gate were waiting on and then see how right I might’ve been when their person got off the plane and they were reunited. One particular trip to the airport I remember watching a lady at another gate as she was waiting, she was watching intently at each person who was deplaning and after each one filed past her and no other bodies were left to exit, she was still waiting…
I wonder if you identify with that feeling? That waiting feeling.
At the very beginning of Luke Chapter 1, we meet a couple of people who are well acquainted with that waiting feeling. Zachariah and Elizabeth had been waiting to make a family. They were hoping for a child and they had been waiting and waiting…years of waiting. Years that likely started off with much prayer and hopefulness and years that turned into dwindling dreams and doubt from all the waiting.
Waiting is not pleasant to talk about is it? Starting is exciting and finishing is fulfilling, but waiting, well that’s the difficult stuff. Waiting is the part where it’s hard work but there’s nothing to show for it. Waiting is a test and you’re never sure how long it will last. Waiting can even be a physical ache as your heart hurts from the longing. Waiting can be lonely, feeling like you’re left tapping your foot impatiently while the rest of the world walks out on you.
I imagine that Zachariah and Elizabeth knew well the pain of waiting. The pleas to God that felt unanswered, the hurt of watching others grow their family while theirs remained a party of two, the challenge to their faith as they turned another year older on the calendar, their hair was getting grayer and still they waited.
Ultimately, Zachariah and Elizabeth made it through the waiting and they welcomed a little world changer named John. That lady who was waiting at the airport, I’m not sure if she ever got her reunion or not, I hope so.
If you my friend find yourself in the middle of a lengthy waiting period and it feels like you are at that airport gate watching everyone else have a reunion while you keep waiting and hoping your turn comes, I want you to know I see you. More importantly, God sees you.
You are not waiting because you are less than. You are not waiting because you are being punished. God is with us in our waiting. He is close in our waiting. He does not grow tired or weary of us in the waiting.
I don’t know how my story will end and I can’t begin to guess your grand finale either, but this I do know, as we move forward while waiting, God is the very best company and our waiting will not be wasted.