Belfast Telegraph

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Thought for the weekend


By Rev Craig Cooney

I don't like waiting - in supermarket queues, in traffic, at airports, and especially in doctor's waiting rooms. I typically arrive feeling slightly ill, but after spending 15 minutes in the midst of a multitude of coughing and spluttering patients, I leave convinced I've caught every disease known to humankind. Waiting rooms are not pleasant.

In almost 30 years of following Jesus, I have discovered that a lot of time is spent in 'God's waiting room'. He rarely does things as quickly as I would like. I find that so frustrating. You'd think He had all the time in the world!

For centuries, various prophets had spoken of a coming Messiah who would deliver God's people. Figures such as Isaiah, Daniel and Micah were very precise in their predictions.

Then we get to Malachi, the last prophet (and final book) in the Old Testament. He filled in a few more details, describing the Messiah as God's "messenger" and a "refiner and purifier" (Malachi 3:1-4).

However, after Malachi something strange happened. God went silent.

A single page in the Bible at the end of the Old Testament separates the book of Malachi from the Gospel of Matthew. Yet that one page represents over 400 years of silence. Not so much as a peep from God. No more prophets. No visions. No angels.

God's people must certainly have wondered: "What is He up to? Perhaps God has forgotten about us. Maybe He has abandoned us." It was a long, slow, silent wait.

Then one ordinary day, in a rural little town called Nazareth, a teenage girl called Mary received an unexpected visit from an angel. Gabriel's assignment was to pass on a very special message from Heaven: "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus." (Luke 1: 31)

Finally, God had spoken again. Just like that, the waiting was over. The arrival of the Messiah was imminent. God had kept His promise.

What are you waiting for today? Maybe you feel as if God has forgotten about you? Perhaps, even, that He has abandoned you?

Be assured, He is working in the waiting. He always keeps His word. And when He does come through, you will discover that some things in life are worth the wait.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph