“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard?The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Christian faith is about waiting. When you look at a Christian stories, a lot of stories about waiting, and Christmas is also about waiting. Children are waiting for their gifts. I like to reflect on waiting today. There are some people also around us, waiting for their healing, waiting for a better financial future. So we all wait for different things. We don’t like waiting that much. People don’t like waiting. We think waiting is a waste of time. We think that by waiting, there is nothing good comes out of waiting. It’s just pure waste. Waiting is very much part of our reality. We always have to wait, it’s part of our life, especially in the modern world. Every morning, we have to wait. We get stuck in traffic, then we have to wait. At the grocery we have to wait in line.
Waiting is a part of our reality, it is an unavoidable reality. So don’t get stressed out when you have to wait. Otherwise you’ll be consumed with impatience and frustration. To survive the modern world we have to learn to how to wait, how to live with waiting. But you know what, we are living in a very fast paced society. We have created technology so that we don’t have to wait. We even created a drone to deliver pizza, and then everything that you order from Amazon will get to you maybe next day or within two hours. We have created technology so that we can kill waiting. Before it took a few days to receive mail. Now it takes a few seconds to receive mail from people we know. In Jesus’ time, for Jesus to get to Jerusalem, it took one whole week, 120 kilometer. That is kind of distance that we walked for Camino this spring. It was 120 kilometer and it took exactly one week. But now, if you drive fast, maybe one hour we can get to a Niagara. So we have reduced waiting time tremendously, but we have become more impatient. So not that we got better about our attitude towards waiting. We got worse with our attitude towards waiting.
Waiting in the Bible
So I was thinking, maybe a solution is not just to deal with waiting time or reduce waiting time. Maybe the solution is to change our attitude towards waiting. Waiting is not something we have to kill at all cost. Maybe there is something good in waiting. When I look at the people in the Bible. They all waited. It is a story about waiting. For example, Jesus, he always said “My hour has not yet come.” What does that mean? He was waiting for his time. He didn’t just do anything. How about Abraham? God promised, Abraham you will be the father of great nation. He didn’t even have a son and he had to wait for the son to be a born. Also Joseph, God gave him the dream that you be so great that a lot of people will bow to you, even including your parents.
But his life was miserable. His brothers were jealous and then they tried to kill him. Then at the end they sold him to Egypt in slavery. Then he was imprisoned in Egypt and he had to wait until his skill of dream was actually fulfilled and recognized. How about the Israelites? Israelites became Israelites through 40 years of waiting in the wilderness. The Israel was not born just like that. They had to wait 40 years to become truly the Israel. Waiting was part of their spiritual lives. So I was wondering why God led all of them to wait, instead of instantly giving them the answer or curing them. Why do they have to wait so long to be who they are? I think there’s something special about waiting. God uses waiting to discern who the true people of God are and also God uses waiting to build these people up.
And only waiting can do that. Nothing else can do that. Only waiting can build you up. There is a secret power in waiting. Waiting builds character in us and God needed that character to do his work. God cannot use just anybody, God cannot use just talented people. God uses people who are waiting, who know how to wait. That’s why God installed that waiting in part of God’s plan. Only those who are waiting for the Lord will be able to carry on the work of God. Will waiting build special muscle within us to persevere when the storms of life come? People who go through difficult times through the period of painful waiting time, they will be able to survive when they meet difficult times. They are strong. Waiting is the best way to become strong. My friends, people who easily give up can never be strong.
No matter how strong they may be in the beginning, no matter how talented they are, no matter how intelligent they may be. The people who give up easily can never be strong. The only people who know how to wait, they can be strong. God will use those who know how to wait. Only those who struggle and wait will be able to stand strong in times of trial. Also God will give these people who are waiting the strength. God will give them the strength, God’s strength. This is what Isaiah said, but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, not just anybody. The people who wait for the Lord God will give them the strength and their strength will be renewed. Then they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. In our waiting, God gives us the strength. Why are we waiting? Is it because we have no choice but wait? Is it because we don’t have solution right away? Is it because situations can not be resolved right away? That’s why we wait because we cannot do anything about it. That’s why we wait. Don’t wait in fear.
Don’t wait passively wasting away your time. Wait for the Lord, wait with hope, wait with prayer and God will give you strength and you’ll become strong in the process of waiting. As I said last week, almost every week we hear tragic news. Two weeks before in Paris, terrible thing happen, and last week this man, when in the clinic and it killed three people. Just this week couple went into this place, they take care of physically challenged people. They killed 14 people and wounded many. Crazy world. I feel like people just don’t know what to do with their anger and frustration. They just let it out. I don’t like you so I kill. I don’t like feminist, then they go and killed them off. We are living in such a difficult world and we think sounds so feeble and people may ask, why wait? Useless. we have to fight. Waiting sounds so weak and useless. Jesus also lived in a very violent world and as a result of that violence, Jesus was killed but he never submitted to the power of darkness. He waited for God to reign, even on the cross. While he was dying, he was waiting for God’s reign to come upon us for the Kingdom of God.
Waiting With Hope
We still wait for God to reign in this world. Let us not become victims of despair. Let us wait with hope, let us wait for Gospel. We are not going to give up our dream for the world, where there is peace, justice, love and harmony. While waiting, we will continuously promote our love for humanity and wait for God to work. I’m not going to be selfish, we are not going to be selfish. We are going to continuously promote love for humanity. Last week in the midst of dark and gloomy news, I was very encouraged by the good news. Light in the darkness. Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook and his wife Priscilla Chan. On Tuesday, they declare that they will donate 99 percent of their worth for the worthy cause. You know that asset is $45,000,000,000, not just tithing, 10 percent, not just 90 percent, 99 percent of their asset, they’ll use it for the great cause. They are not even believer’s. We Christians should never lose our hope, our love for humanity. We can do that. Not everybody is selfish. Not everybody is a murderer and killers. Not everybody is a terrorist. There are people who love the humanity. As christians, we have to stand up. Living selfishly, just for ourselves, we have to promote our love for humanity and we’ll wait with hope.
Christmas is time of waiting with hope and that waiting gives us joy. In our waiting let us impregnate, hope and dream for the better world. Where people care for each other, truly care for each other, and I think we can do that. Let us impregnate that care in our waiting.