Have you been patiently waiting for something, but it seems like that day will never come? How does that make you feel? It is especially difficult when you have to wait longer than expected for something you really want or something you expect to be fulfilled. We can find ourselves waiting a very long time, sometimes even years for the very things we hope for and for many of us, we are still waiting. Prolonged waiting can make us feel anxious, desperate, angry, frustrated, and when we feel as if we have waited long enough, expectant hearts can become despondent. What we were once so excited to experience, hopelessness starts to creep in and leaves us feeling empty and forsaken. The year 2020 has brought about a particular feeling of bewilderment that has troubled the hearts of many. We have found ourselves at the mercy of a lingering pandemic that has affected us worldwide and with no definitive end in sight, as our world waits to ring in the year 2021, there are many desperate prayers for better things to come… if all is not lost already.
It has been said that the waiting time between Malachi and Matthew was about 400 years. God spoke through the pr
ophet Malachi and then there was silence. God appeared to be distant and Israel felt abandoned. Hopelessness and despair took over. Surely God had forgotten his promises, they must have thought. In Luke 2: 25-38, there was a devout man by the name of Simeon and a prophetess by the name of Anna, who had heard that the Messiah was coming, but they had yet to see this come to pass. As they were approaching the latter years of their life, you would think that they would have given up on God after years of waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled, but here they were in their old age, still trusting, believing with fervent hope. It was revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before the Messiah was revealed. When Mary and Joseph came to the temple to consecrate Jesus to the Lord, Simeon was there to see what he had longingly hoped for, come to fruition. He exalts the name of the Lord in verses 29-32.
29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
The prophetess, Anna had heard all her life that there was one who would be the source of consolation for Israel but was 84 years old before she saw the promise of God fulfilled. She had spent a lifetime in prayer and expectancy of the coming Messiah. She worshiped and fasted day and night, every day until that fateful day when she saw Jesus at the temple at the time Simeon had blessed him. She too rejoiced and told everyone she encountered that Jesus was the one they had hoped for all those years and that he came to be their salvation. Jesus had come to save them!
Waiting can make us feel completely out of control of what’s to come, and we often take matters into our own hands when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some have even walked away from God because they believe God has forgotten them, but God has not forgotten us! God is working even when we cannot see what he is doing! Just like Simeon and Anna, our hope must be built on the very one who promised to make all things right. No longer do we need to wander in anxiety or despair, wondering is there hope for this world. Our world is still walking in darkness, looking to our governments and world leaders to shield us from our pain, rescue us from destruction and give us freedom, but they will never find it there. Jesus is our living Hope that has come and he has come for us! Let us remember that we are to reveal this truth to everyone that we encounter. Jesus is our only hope.