It’s the last few moments before his life is forever changed. It’s been a long wait. Months, even years of waiting.
He stands and he waits just a little bit more.
Readied for her arrival his heart feels like it’s going to beat out of his chest while his stomach does somersaults. His feelings are a mixture of joy and delight sprinkled with a little holy fear and terror. Taking his handkerchief from his breast pocket, he wipes the sweat from his brow. His feet are locked in place. He’s not going anywhere.
He waits for her. He’s not alone in this moment but his desire for her arrival causes everyone to fade into the background. Through the long corridor of people joining him in his waiting, his gazed is fixed on the back door. His knees grow weak and begin to shake.
Yet, he stand waiting in anticipation.
Moments and seasons of waiting aren’t meant to be endured, but are meant to be embraced. Just like a groom embraces the wait to see his bride for the first time. It’s in the waiting that our desires increase and our anticipation grows. Waiting fuels expectation.
That’s not to say waiting it’s easy. In fact, it’s incredibly hard. So much so, we fear waiting. All too often we want to pass over the wait and rush towards the end goal. We think, “If only I could have it now…” Because we fear waiting, we don’t know how to embrace it, ultimately, because we don’t know what it’s for.
When embraced, waiting expands our imagination. It creates space for us to dream of what could be and what will be. Waiting enlarges our heart. It gives us a greater capacity to love and appreciate the moment when it finally arrives. Waiting nurtures hope.
Part of waiting is embracing the discomfort of it. In the process we get better acquainted with our longings and desires that have yet to be fulfilled. We get to know them as a close friend and over time, watch them take shape and be refined. When we pass over the waiting we miss out on the opportunity to become the type of person who hopes and longs for better things.
We are so unaccustomed to waiting it’s something that needs to be practiced. As the Church, we’ve entered into the season of Advent. A season in the church year when we anticipate and wait for the coming of Jesus. It’s a time when we get to practice waiting. An opportunity to fix our hearts on what’s to come. A chance to dream about the world being restored to the way it’s supposed to be. A season when hope for a better world, a new world is cultivated deep in our bones.
While, at times, it may be uncomfortable, embracing the wait only gives us greater appreciation for when that moment will arrive.
The music swells and the double doors open wide. Her silhouette appears. As she emerges from the shadows, her beauty takes his breath away and almost causes his heart to stop. Tears fill up his eyes and stream down his face. He can’t believe this moment is here. For the past year he’s lived with the anticipation for this moment and it’s finally here. It was well worth the wait.