Friday, December 21, 2007

Waiting for Results

Children everywhere are counting the days until Christmas. If you're a parent, you may be exhausted by now from "I can't wait" questions: "When does Rudolph come on TV?" "When can we open the presents?" "How much farther to Grandma's?"

Children do not wait patiently for things they look forward to. Nor do many adults. We watch the office clock all Friday afternoon. We squirm as we wait outside for stores to open.

Nor do we wait patiently for things we anticipate without unmitigated pleasure. Sweaty palms, churning stomachs, and an inability to concentrate on anything else are common to the patient waiting for a cancer screening and the student waiting for exam grades. Waiting to learn how we did, or how we are, is an inevitable part of life--one many of us would like to do away with. Who needs the stress and suspense?

What we really need is a godly patience based in quiet trust that we can leave the results to God and that He knows best. Many of us fall short because we pay too much attention to immediate concerns and not enough to the things He tells us to wait for--the coming of Christ and the full establishment of the eternal Kingdom. We're like children who are so tired of travelling that we've half convinced ourselves we'll never reach the destination.

Fortunately, no matter how many times the kids whine, "Are we there yet?" most parents keep driving without giving up the trip or tossing anyone out of the car. God is like that. He doesn't disown us when we get impatient. And if we stop moaning, "Will this ever end?" long enough to listen for an answer, we just might hear Him whisper, "Be patient. The end is worth waiting for."

Whether you're travelling this year or at home trying to keep up with the bustle, take a little time each evening to think about the first Christmas and about the eternal celebration God has planned for us.

Since the days we start as children,
At the doctor Mom consults,
We spend countless hours in waiting,
Always waiting for results.

Through the days we spend as students,
With exams the weekly way,
We chew nails as grades draw nearer,
Waiting for results each day.

When we're grown and jobs we're seeking,
When employed and near reviews,
When it's time to pay our taxes,
When high tension fills the news,

In old age when bodies weaken,
Or when illness strikes the young,
All our thoughts are "What will happen?"
Till the day results are sung.

Every day we spend in living,
Till the one we breathe our last,
Every day brings things uncertain,
And new waits replace those past.

But the end of time is coming,
When dim vision will grow bright,
When all doubts at last will vanish,
And our faith give way to sight,

In a world where all is glory,
In a place where all is pure:
Know, through all you find uncertain,
One result at least is sure!

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