Throughout the year, Debbie and I love playing games, but especially over Christmas. Yes, as soon as Christmas `kicks in` out pop the board, dice, card, electronic, verbal or written games, even more so, if anyone comes to visit. The fun, people’s competitive spirit, banter, humour and laughter always make for good entertainment, even when I lose.

But one game I hate playing is: `The Waiting Game`, the game of: waiting for something to happen, waiting to get seen, waiting for someone to turn up, waiting for a letter to arrive, waiting for Amazon to deliver or waiting for the children to tidy their room. And if we are honest, most people hate playing `the waiting game` because of an inbuilt switch that makes us impatient. When I was in Greece a few years ago, the cars behind started to hoot if the driver had not pulled away from the traffic lights immediately they turned green.

And when it comes to Christmas, waiting can push many `over the edge` as we wait for the cheques to clear, wait in queue after queue, wait for the `out of stock` item to arrive, and of course, waiting for the turkey to defrost, which is enough to cause the most mild-mannered person to become stressed out, especially if it`s not timed to perfection and the family is waiting, which could mean waiting until evening to eat the Christmas Day feast.

And when it comes to opening presents on Christmas Day, children can often find themselves `having to wait` for their parents to wake up or having to wait to play with an electronic toy because it plays havoc with grandma`s ear piece. We may even have to wait to watch our favourite programme because of family demand or because the King`s inaugural Christmas Day message will dominate the TV this year.

Over 2000 years ago, waiting was high on the agenda too, as God had to wait for Mary to accept His challenge. God also had to wait for Joseph to come round to the `virgin birth` idea. Then the couple had to wait to find alternative accommodation because there was no room in the inn. Mary then had to wait for Jesus to be born. And then Mary and Joseph had to wait before it was safe to go back to their community.

Waiting: no one likes it, but it can be good for us as it teaches us patience, self-control and selflessness which are traits often missing in our society. But above all, it teaches us to trust God, like Mary and Joseph did. With Christmas upon us, don`t lose your peace when things don`t go according to plan, but simply, `WAIT on God`.

Advent Blessings.

Pastor Steve

REFLECTION How has `Waiting for God` to answer your prayers in the past impacted you Spiritually? What areas of your faith have developed as a result of being patient?  

MEDITATION `Waiting on God` [being still before Him and listening to Him] is a proactive stance of drawing near to God. How will this inspire you for next year?