146. When the Days of Wait Are Over
Key and Trigger:
This Christmas, the family again read Luke, Chapter 2, as part of our typical holiday observance. The following verses, and one clause in particular ("and the days were accomplished"), resonated deeply with me.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Now, later in the same chapter, we read about multiple fervent believers, including, specifically, Simeon and Anna, who had been waiting for the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the Messiah’s birth. In Mary's case, she had to wait for months before the promised virgin birth; while Simeon and Anna waited decades. Numerous additional lengthy waiting periods before promised blessings arrived come readily to mind, such as Sarah ("I did not laugh") who waited until old age to bear the long-promised heir, as described in Genesis 18:12-15. Fortunately, in these instances, the Lord's servants were faithful, despite delays. Will we be as valiant?
146. When the Days of “Wait” Are Over
When the days of "wait" are over,
When the "wondering if" is gone,
Will all those who "hoped" be with us?
Will their faith still be as strong?
When the much delayed fulfillment,
Has arrived after "so long".
Will all those who were believers,
Join the faithful’s triumph song? (1)
Of those souls who heard the message,
Just how many kept the fire?
Prophets never ceased their labors--
Saving souls their sole desire.
But as days turned into decades
Doubts could readily arise.
And the courage of the stalwart,
Might be doubted, then despised.
It’s a story oft repeated
As the Father bids us wait
To earn fruits from our devotion
Despite cynics of our faith.
He has never failed His children
Though He may still "bear them long". (2)
In "due time" they shall live with Him (3)
And share Jesus’ triumph song.
Unlimited noncommercial usage allowed.
(1) 2 Corinthians 2:14 – “Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”
(2) Luke 18:1-7 (KJV)
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”
(3) The phrase "due time of the Lord" is used frequently in scripture, in blessings, and from the pulpit by the Lord's anointed--it is a tremendously variable time period which can mean mere hours or hundreds of years.
The purpose of this piece, in relevant part, is to attempt to explore the sometimes painful balance which faithful Saints must maintain:
(a) On the one hand, retaining a constant state of readiness and faith so that WHEN the anticipated act, blessing, fulfillment arrives, we will be quick to accept and act upon it, YET, AT THE SAME TIME--
(b) Appreciate that the Lord's "thoughts and ways" are not ours [Isaiah 55:8-9] and that we should neither attempt to rush the Lord nor complain that "it's taking too long", AND ALSO--
(c) Comprehend that, but for "trifling decisions" like "chocolate or vanilla" ice cream, any meaningful choices will likely have serious impact on not only our futures but also on many others--either within our circle (family/friends/leaders) or otherwise.
So we neither despair, falling victim to our own vain impatience, nor do we cease asking and waiting for "that good thing" we believe in. Such trust in Heaven's superior love, knowledge, and pacing allows us to remain persistent in asking for "that good thing" even while we close each petition/prayer with the affirmation, "We pray Thou shalt provide those "good things" we seek when Thou knowest that the time is best." Thus, we show faith in God's consummate, even perfect love, and perfect timing--appreciating that any equally omniscient/totally loving Father would choose the same exact moment to answer our prayer(s).
As we read The Book of Mormon this year, we will see repeatedly, how the Lord's people we required to demonstrate [or acquire] faith, again and again, by waiting for "good things" about which they had an assurance that the Lord wanted them to possess.
I anticipate that this year is my personal "break out" year wherein I begin to fully integrate The Book of Mormon into all my conversations and actions.