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Wait for Him

Wait for Him

 
By:  Kimberly Ambrosio December 22, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Encouragement, #Jesus, #Live, #Wisdom

My second-grade students were visited by a priest, who asked them when St. John the Baptist met Jesus. We were making our way through the decades of the Rosary and had just prayed the mystery of the Baptism of Jesus. I hoped they remembered more than just the accounts that followed of the baptisms they witnessed. Their eager hands went up, and a small, confident voice said, “The Visitation,” and all their little heads nodded in harmony. There was a flicker of surprise in our priest’s eyes, but he joyfully agreed. It wasn’t the answer he was looking for, but it was a deep and beautiful truth, and these kids embraced it fully.  Our Jesus was present, though not born, when St. John the Baptist jumped at the sound of Our Blessed Mother’s voice. Fully alive, though not yet seen, and we await Christ’s visit.

This notion is ever more striking in this season of Advent, a season of waiting and preparation. We wait for Him to come again and celebrate the ways He has already come to us. Christ is with us, though not yet seen in His full glory. He is truly present in the Eucharist and resides in our hearts, and such a presence should never be taken for granted. So, we take a breath and submit to a season of contemplation and readiness.

This season is especially challenging in a world that has forbidden us to wait, a world that innovates to prevent us from having to delay a single moment.  The world tells us that time is fleeting, so waste it efficiently. No commercials. No lines. No waiting.  It’s not that we sought a world that would bow to our timetables, but that the possibility was there, and convenience and efficiency seemed the logical path to take. It baits us that we can take the time we saved to fill it with more busyness and more possessions.

There’s a part of us that knows we need to pause or we’re going to crash. Our normal speed has become warp speed, so much that the thought of silence is intolerable. Yet, when we dwell in that silence and in the presence of God, it feels like home. Advent is the perfect time to come back to that home, as the season compels us to abide in that quiet and resist the urge to leave.

When Elijah waited for the Lord, he stood at the entrance of the cave and heard, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God calls us by name and begs us to stop and answer that question – What are we doing?

What are we doing?

What happens to us when we wait? We consider the imminent events before us and begin to hope for good things. In that time, we might wonder who would be affected by our anticipated actions and grow in compassion. There may be an opportunity to design plans or reconsider existing arrangements. In waiting, we look beyond the present moment and past our selfishness to a hopeful future.

Are we moving so fast that we have lost the habit of reflecting on what we are doing? Instead, it is better that we allow ourselves to linger in expectation and give thanks that we have time to prepare. Our God has come and is coming again. Are we ready not just for Him to finally come in glory, but for when He comes to us again - in the Eucharist or in prayer or in love? Is your heart prepared to encounter Him? Is it a worthy place for Him to dwell? 

When the waiting is over, happiness comes from more than just our emotional response or an empty pleasure. There is goodness in waiting - goodness in the person we become along the way. There is joy to be found in the surrendering of a few extra moments to give to God. More than anything, we cannot lose sight of the reason we wait. Our hearts are ever waiting for only one that can give them rest – our God, our greatest love, who is worth waiting for.

This extra breath that we take during Advent is a practice for more than a planned encounter with God. It’s a reminder that we need that breath in all those unplanned encounters. We have this bad habit of trying to control everything or handle problems ourselves. But when there are pains or trials, we must give ourselves time to wait for Jesus. He will come. He never deserts us. “For he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrew 13:5)

From the beginning, God was there. For our souls, He was there. In every tabernacle, God is there.

Whenever you call, He will be there, but will you be waiting?

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