Patience takes time. Waiting to open presents as a kid may have been the equivalent to torture in my young mind. Seeing presents with my name on them sitting under the tree commanded my attention. I could not understand why mom and dad insisted I wait until Christmas morning! Surely one or two gifts early wouldn’t hurt? Yet, every year mom and dad asked me to be patient for Christmas morning.
Once Christmas morning came I still had to wait. We couldn’t open presents until our family all made it to our house. Once everyone got there I still had to wait, but at this point I had comrades to wait with, namely my little brothers and cousin. We formed a band demanding to open presents immediately. All the adults remained resolute in waiting for the right time to open gifts. Finally, that golden moment would come. We would all gather in the living room and begin opening presents.
Over the years of opening gifts I learned a valuable lesson: waiting reveals how wonderful the gift is. Every year at Christmas I enjoyed waiting more because I knew waiting made me appreciate the gifts even more. If I would have bought myself whatever was wrapped under the tree they would not have carried the same value.
Advent is the season leading up to Christmas to help us focus on waiting for Christ’s birth and second coming. Your church may or may not include Advent in Sunday worship, but it can be a great practice to celebrate each year. We learn from waiting, like during Advent, that God is preparing us for the right time. Christmas presents teach me that God’s greatest gift is incredibly valuable. God’s people waited for generations for Jesus to come. In the same way, we are waiting for the return of Christ.
I know waiting is worth it because of Simeon’s words in Luke 2:29-32: