Love is (Im)Patient

[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Blair Roberts lives in Regina with his wife and two daughters, beautiful gifts that he’s not sure he’s earned.  He works with the Glen Elm Church of Christ and is sighing a satisfied sigh after another successful year for the Regina Christmas Wish List (@ReginaWishList).] 

I’m not a patient man.

impatientI’m the cliche that huffs and puffs in line at the bank or punches my steering wheel in a traffic jam. I’m a walking talking picture of impatience. The kind I embody is unhealthy and unproductive. But it sure feels righteous in the moment!

But I suggest that there is a more healthy and innocent way of being impatient.

Bella, my youngest, has been counting down the sleeps until Christmas. Recently, she informed me there were 4 sleeps until Christmas. I corrected her by pointing there were 5. The look of shock and anger on her face quickly turned to tears and disbelief. She wanted Christmas to be here so bad that 1 more night felt like an eternity. I lied and said she was right, it was only 4. I’m not saying it’s right, but I couldn’t destroy my daughter’s hopes and dreams.

Missy and I dated long distance before we married. We didn’t live in the same city until our wedding. Each week was filled with eager anticipation for the end of the work week when we could be together again. The woman of my dreams was 5 hours away and nothing could distract me from the purpose of my work week–paying for gas to get back to her. It was an impatience born out of the love we had for one another.

hosea23Hosea is one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture to me. God commands Hosea to marry a prostitute in order to paint a picture for the Israelites that represents God’s relationship with his people. Hosea obeys, only to have his wife leave him over and over again to return to her old way of life. Hosea goes and seeks her out each time, desperate for her to return. All this paints a picture of God’s extravagant love for his children, going to incredible depths to seek out those he loves. Other than the fact that it hurts to be called a prostitute, it leaves me breathless thinking of the love that would put aside our sin and brokenness and lack of trust in order to love us again.

Hosea 14:4 says this:

“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.”

Praise the Lord! Advent is beautiful because it reminds myself that Jesus is seeking me out, even when I turn my back on him. There will come a day when he returns, and I best prepare myself for that day with the impatient waiting that fosters the love that God has for each one of us in our own hearts.

The way a child waits for Christmas.

The way a lover waits for his beloved.

Advent aims to rid us of the distractions that get in the way of the greatest love story ever: A God who would seek his beloved to the ends of the earth and will return to gather his beloved once more.

Advent brings me to the realization that my love is weak. Advent makes me impatient in the way that I long for my lover. Thank God for Advent, and may we remember to await our Saviour each day of the year the way our children long to run down the stairs on Christmas morning.

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