featured image

Laura Nelson considers the waiting we have endured this past year in light of the people of God's anticipation of the birth of the Savior.

I’ve never been good at waiting. And this year has pushed my waiting skills to their limit. Of course, I’m not alone here. The whole world has been waiting; waiting for a treatment, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for a cure, waiting for normal. So, it’s not surprising that the longer we wait, the harder it is to keep waiting. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about waiting and anticipation. This year has been filled with both in abundance. My own waiting and anticipation has been a strange mix of dread about what might happen next and hope that things will turn the corner and get better soon. Anticipation of things getting worse could be the very definition of anxiety. These are the times when my imagination is my worst enemy. But, sometimes, anticipation is great. Sometimes it increases the pleasure of the thing to come. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait for your birthday to come? That kind of anticipation builds excitement and increases the joy of its arrival. 

Most of us have been waiting almost a year for “better.” But there have been times in history when waiting for something good has taken on biblical proportions, literally. As we begin our Advent preparations for Christmas, the Church encourages us to remember how long the people of God had to wait for the coming of the Savior. Some scholars say it was hundreds of years from the time of Abraham when God promised to “provide the lamb” for the sacrifice to the time of Christ’s birth. But, if you think about it from a different starting point (say, the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Adam), you could easily say that the people of God waited thousands of years for the birth of Christ.


Did the people of God get discouraged? Yes. Did they lose their way at times? Yes. Did they need to be reminded of the hope of God’s promise? Yes. Did they have to grow in trust and faith in God while they waited? Definitely yes!

I want to connect my experience of waiting with that of the People of God as they waited for the coming of the Savior. #catholicmom

I’m not sharing this with you to “fix” your problem of waiting for life to get back to normal. I’m not sharing this with you to make you feel bad that you can’t seem to wait a year when the people of God had to wait hundreds of years. Really, I just want to remind myself (and you while I’m at it) that good things are worth waiting for. But, even more, I want to connect my experience of waiting with that of the People of God as they waited for the coming of the Savior. I want to use this time of waiting to increase my excitement and joy for the coming of Christ this Christmas instead of letting it increase my anxiety and frustration.

And, if it helps you along the way, even better.



Copyright 2020 Laura Nelson
Images (top to bottom): Andrea Piacquadio (2020), Pexels; Bill Smith (2020), Flickr, CC BY 2.0