In the Book of Luke, we learn that the Jews had been waiting for the birth of the Messiah for 2000 years! Each and every generation expecting, anticipating, hoping and praying that they would get to witness the fulfillment of God’s promise. After a while, many fell away. They decided it wasn’t going to happen and they were tired of waiting. Yet, there were a few, a remnant, who held onto the hope and continued to be faithful to God believing that He would do as He had promised. Zechariah and Elizabeth were among the faithful. Luke 1:6 says they were righteous in the sight of God. They faithfully prayed and waited for the promise; they also prayed for many years that they might have a child. As a childless woman in that day, Elizabeth felt great shame, and now she and her husband were advanced in years. The time for them to have children had passed. One day while Zechariah served in the temple as priest, an angel appeared to him and said that Elizabeth would conceive and they would have a son. Miracle of all miracles! Well, almost…Their child (John) would declare the way for the Messiah (Jesus, the Promised One) who would soon come (really soon)! This was above and beyond anything they could have prayed for or expected. It all happened in God’s time!

Scriptures
Gn 12:2-3; Matt 7:7; Luke 1:5-7,13-16, 18-20, 22, 24-27 Gal 3:8

Verse
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Matt 7:7

Thought
Waiting is difficult. For children it is almost unbearable at times, especially at Christmas. With just three weeks until Christmas the adults are pannicked, “It’s just around the corner. How will I get everything done?” The children are thinking, “No! Three more weeks! It’ll never get here!” No matter the age or situation, waiting is never fun! In life we experience difficulties and sometimes our prayers seemingly go unnoticed. We pray and pray and wait and wait, and nothing happens. We start to feel abandoned as though God isn’t listening or paying attention. Although our path to answered prayer may be a long and winding road and we may be tired and worn, the Christmas story reminds us that God isn’t silent, or sleeping or out for a long lunch. He is watching, planning, creating and bringing His will into our lives in His time! Trust him! He has proven that he keeps His word! His promises are true! It’s all in His time, not ours!

Questions
As a child did you sneak a peek at your presents before Christmas? If you found a hidden gift what did you? What’s the worst waiting experience you can remember? Do you view waiting as an inconvenience or as part of God’s plan? Have you ever forced something before its time that should have been waited for? What was the result? How does waiting affect the outcome? Do you appreciate immediate gratification or does waiting enhance the outcome? How well do you wait?

Response
Write a prayer asking for whatever you are waiting for God to do. Be honest. Remember that God is paying attention; He cares; He is the Lord of All! Trust His timing.

Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for proving your faithfulness again and again. Thank you for making the way for my salvation through Jesus, the promised Messiah. I know that you care about all of my burdens. Help me to be faithful and trust Your timing. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.