The 1 thing we don’t have to wait for

“Hello, walls,” Willie Nelson crooned.

     His woman had left him, and he was addressing the walls of his home.

     As I listened to Willie on my phone, I myself was feeling tempted to converse with inanimate objects. Like many of you have done and/or continue to do, I spent some time working from home this year. It tested my sanity.

     Some of you might’ve seen a Facebook Live video I did early on in the pandemic, when I was staying home as much as possible. That day, I had a meltdown after 1) stepping in dog poop and 2) being hit on the head by my roommate’s pull-up bar. (I forgot it was on the doorframe and made the mistake of trying to shut the door.)

     After handing the pull-up bar to my roommate, who’d emerged from the bathroom just in time to see my humiliation, I stormed off to my room and yelled as loudly as I could.

     I tried learning from my meltdown. I later found plenty of things to do while spending more time at home. Most of these were good for me in some way:

  I walked and ran in my neighborhood.

  I wrote a long-overdue letter to my sponsored child. It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic for me to do that!

  I straightened up my house, my car, and my garage. I haphazardly Swiffered some baseboards.

  At one point I ate more than a dozen chocolate chip cookies, and close to a whole sleeve of Oreos, in three days. (Maybe not good for me.)

  I read a young-adult fantasy novel in two sittings.

  And, due more to circumstances than intention, I think (hope) I prayed a little more than usual.

     Chances are, you can relate to some or all of the above, maybe even my meltdown. Whether you’re still working from home, or your life looks almost normal now, we’re all waiting for COVID-19 to quit being a threat. I’d say “waiting patiently,” but that’d be a lie.

     Christmastime is a good season to talk about waiting, whether you’re waiting on COVID test results, a family gathering that keeps getting put off due to the virus, or the end of this heart-wrenching year. It might do us good to remember, the nation of Israel waited about 400 years between the last Old Testament prophecy and the birth of Christ — but He came.

     Now we wait for His return, when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2). We wait for an end to the pandemic of sin and death. We wait for Him to take us home.

     Some days, we see countless signs of the end times, from earthquakes to wars and rumors of wars (anyone remember that business with Iran?), not to mention sin abounding and love waxing cold (Matthew 24:6-12). These are frightening events, but they still point to His return.

     Other days, it seems like He’s taking His sweet time. Well, He is! He wants all men to have time to repent (2 Peter 3:9). But make no mistake, He is coming back for us.

     And here’s one thing we don’t have to wait on: We don’t have to wait to cry out to Him.

     We don’t have to wait to know He loves us. We don’t have to wait to know His gospel applies to us. God’s salvation is here and available now to any and all who put their faith and trust in Jesus (John 3:16). He was crucified for our sins, and He was resurrected to show that those sins are forgiven (Romans 4). Not just some sins, but all (Colossians 3). We don’t have to wait — in fact, we must not wait — to claim that promise.

     Trust Him today, even now. If you’re struggling with that, ask Him to give you faith, whether to trust Him for salvation or to take your next step as you follow Him. He will never fail to answer that prayer. He is near. He hears you. And oh, dear one, how He loves you. y

‘Must-reads’ in this issue

  Robin Moffitt Hutson’s “This Is My Story” column about adopting five kids — while waiting for God’s plan to unfold

  Our cover story on our 2020 Christian Leaders of the Year

  Brenna Weaver’s “Tough Questions” column about wanting to be alone on Christmas