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"The Waiting is the Hardest Part" by Andrew Nash

Thursday, December 6 
Luke 21:25-36

“Be careful or your hearts will be weighed down….” (Luke 21:34)

The first Gospel passage of the Advent calendar is probably not a passage most people expect. There are signs of the apocalypse, warnings against drunkenness and a fig tree parable. Real Christmas spirit stuff here, right? 

The lesson here is about faithful waiting. It’s a passage that can be summed up with a Tom Petty lyric: “The waiting is the hardest part.” This passage is somewhat meant as an antidote to anxiety. Jesus is teaching us how to wait for the right way, no matter what we are waiting for: 

  1.  Don’t be distracted. The dangers mentioned here are carousing, drunkenness and life’s anxieties. But Jesus could have mentioned smartphones, bowl games, travel, and family budgets. Don’t get caught up with the unimportant and make time for what’s important. 
  2. Be confident that it’s worth the wait. “Your redemption is drawing near.” Think about the restaurants you’re willing to wait for because of the quality of their food. We’re not willing to be as patient for fast food. Why? Because we’re confident that what we’re waiting for is worth the patience.
  3. You’ll know. When I was single, I had anxiety about my future spouse. Would I know she was the one? How would I know? And yet, I knew Alyson was the one within a week or so. The first paragraphs of this passage answer the question “How will we know when it’s happening?” with “You’ll know.” God will be with us while we wait and make our path obvious.
  4. Stay vigilant. Faithful waiting is not passive. It’s a call for engaged, active patience. “Stand up!” “Be ready!” Like a baseball player waiting on the next pitch, we’ve got to be prepared so that we don’t let moments pass us by.

Andrew Nash