And We Wait

Saturday mornings are for sleeping in and watching cartoons … but not for swimmers. The alarm sounded at an ungodly 5 a.m. I stumbled around doing my Mom thing to get myself ready as well as the things we would need to survive until past noon.

We backed out of the driveway in the dark. The dark. On a Saturday. I fought to keep my eyes open as we drove 45 minutes to another pool. At 7 a.m. the parking lot was filling quickly. Groggy preteens and teenagers tumbled out of vans and cars and shuffled into the gym. Camp chairs, towels, and gear littered half of the gym floor.

And now we wait. Warmups. And we wait. Event 3. And we wait. Event 16. And we wait. Event 24. And we wait. Event 38. And we wait. Event 45. We gather all the gear, wet towels, and water bottles. Now for the drive home. Is it bedtime yet? No, only lunchtime.

Aside from the early mornings, the hardest thing about swim meets is the waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Parents work on laptops, tablets, or phones while swimmers wrap up in towels and blankets and try to nap. Some snack while others play on devices. Younger siblings burst with energy–running and jumping, hardly able to contain themselves.

The Jews were familiar with waiting. They waited for the coming Messiah for 400 years. That’s a bit more waiting than we do at a swim meet, I suppose.

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke‬ ‭2:8-11‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

The long wait had come to an end.

Waiting at a swim meet might yield a first place ribbon, but waiting for the Messiah yields good news for the world. Waiting led to rejoicing.

“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”” Luke‬ ‭2:13-14‬ (NLT)

As Christmas approaches, we celebrate the birth of our Savior, the long-awaited Messiah. We wait, not in boredom for the next event, but in anticipation of honoring the coming of Immanuel, God with us.

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