“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you…blessed are those who wait for him.” – Isaiah 30: 18
Near my gym this week, I noticed once again the growing line of tents and folding chairs alongside the Best Buy in honor of that new religious holiday, Black Thursday. It reminded me of the two guys I saw last year who had been waiting since Monday, or should I say “camping”? That Wednesday I decided to go talk to them, out of sheer curiosity.
“What is it that you want to buy?” I asked. The older gentleman wanted a new flat screen TV and maybe a Blue Ray player. Then I turned to the guy in his early 20’s and asked him the same thing. “I just want a blender” he said. “Really? You’re waiting in line all week, camping on the sidewalk, for a blender?” “Yeah...a really nice blender!” I was dumfounded. “You’re missing Thanksgiving Day for a blender?” “It’s a really good deal!” he assured me. I tried to entice them with our Thanksgiving Breakfast and Worship Service but they said, “No way. We’re not getting out of line!” The older guy said he was Catholic. The other said he was “a real believer, not just one who talks about it.” I guess he meant it: anyone who’s willing to stand in line for 5 days to buy a blender has commitment...if not common sense!
The Bible is filled with stories of hardcore waiting. Abram was seventy-five years old when God promised him a child (Genesis 12) and 99 years old before he and Sarah had Isaac (Genesis 21)! The Israelites waited generations before God delivered them from slavery (Exodus 1). Zechariah waited his whole life to serve in the temple, the unforgettable day he was told by an angel that the Messiah was coming (Luke 1).
We’ve all known times of restless waiting, but the Bible says that God has waited too. God waited for the right time and place to enter human flesh and dwell among us, full of grace and truth (John 1). God patiently waited for that moment when he would reveal his will and ways face to face...bear in his own body our sin and sadness on the cross, and rise again on the third day.
God got in line for you and me too, waiting for us to recognize Him, to treasure Him, to seek Him, and to value Him above all others. The prophet Isaiah declares: “Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you refused ...Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you...to show mercy to you...For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30: 15-18. So during this holiday season, let’s get in line for God and all the good that he stands for. Let’s honor the Lord by doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly, regardless of the price tag (Micah 6:8). And if you’re planning to get in line for a blender, why not share the goodness and grace of Jesus with everyone you meet there too? Hope to see you soon…