Copyright © 2011-2018 | Esther Joy Fajoye
Luke 2:21-40 tells us about the faith of Simeon and Anna. They were both elderly and had one thing in common; they were waiting for the coming of Christ.
God had told Simeon that he wouldn't die until he had seen Christ and so went to the temple to wait (Luke 2:26-27).
Anna was also waiting to see Christ before she died and so she never left the temple 'but worshipped day and night, fasting and praying' - (Luke 2:37). The bible doesn't tell us exactly how long they were waiting or how long Anna had been living in the temple, but we can imagine how they may have felt.
At that time, Jerusalem were waiting for many years for the coming of the Messiah for their redemption following the prophecy of a 'child to be born and be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace' - (Isaiah 9:6). However, they never knew exactly when He will come. Many may have given up hope or wondered if He would come in their lifetime.
Anna and Simeon were promised that they would see Christ in their lifetime. However, they were both elderly and as they continued to grow older, they may have even began to doubt and wonder if they would ever see Christ before they die. However, somehow, they still did not renounce their hope and faith in God, but remained 'righteous and devout' - (Luke 2:25), holding on to His word.
When they finally saw Christ after Mary and Joseph brought him into the temple, they rejoiced and praised God because their faith was rewarded. Simeon in particular thanked God for keeping His promise and said that he can now die in peace, knowing that he had seen what God had promised him and a glimpse of the salvation that was to follow (Luke 2:29-32).
Often we feel like we are always waiting around for something. Waiting can even be painful and we can feel as if we are just standing idle with nothing being accomplished.
Have you ever been put on hold on the phone for what feels like hours? Then while they are playing cheesy music, they occasionally interrupt to say, 'you are the next caller, we appreciate your call,' but then 20 minutes later, you still haven't been put through. When that happens, I lose patience, feel like hanging up and say 'I'm clearly not the next caller and they don't care that I'm waiting so why are they lying?' When we find ourselves in similar situations or waiting for services, we often wonder if the people we are awaiting on acknowledge us or care that we wish to be attended to.
It's the same process when we are waiting for things from God. We can often feel like we are waiting a long time for many things, such as a job, marriage, healing, etc.
Often we can wonder if God cares about us or whether He acknowledges our suffering. It is normal to feel frustrated. Job cried out to God throughout his long suffering, until God answered him and encouraged him to remain faithful and not give up because He would soon restore everything.
God is not like humans and cannot lie or change His mind; when He promises, He fulfils (Numbers 23:19). Just like Simeon and Anna, we should hold on to what we have been promised by an unfailing God to strengthen us, remove feelings of doubt and help us to consciously trust His ways. This will enable us to remain hopeful during our wait.
God always reminds us to be strong and wait on Him, because He acknowledges that it is not easy. He promises that He will never leave us unfulfilled.
'Be strong, take heart and wait for The Lord' (Psalm 27:14).