Luke 2: 25-28
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God....
2 Corinthians 13: 14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
John 16: 12-15
‘I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.’
Waiting rooms are rarely enjoyable. As much as doctors and dentists may try to enhance our experience through music playing in the background, making reading materials available and placing posters on the walls - most of us want to spend as little time in there as possible.
What about God's waiting room? The place we find ourselves between receiving a promise and seeing the fulfilment of that promise. The time period between leaving a job and find new employment; between one relationship ending and meeting someone new; between being diagnosed with an illness and receiving the all-clear. Navigating those waiting rooms with patient faith and positive expectation can be very difficult.
Yet, the simple reality is that we all find ourselves spending time in various waiting rooms throughout our lives. In fact, we're generally waiting for something.
Simeon, we are told, was waiting for the "consolation of Israel." In other words, he was longing to see the promised Messiah who the Old Testament prophets had spoken about so often. Even though there had been over 400 years of silence from God, he still waited with eager expectation. He was able to do this because, as well as having the promises in the Scriptures to hold onto, he also had a personal, clear word from God that he wouldn't die until he had personally seen the Messiah. We don't know how exactly he received this word. It simply tells us that, "It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit..."
I believe that Simeon discovered the secret to waiting for God - that is, not waiting alone. While waiting he enjoyed intimate communion and close friendship with the Spirit; he listened to His voice; he was attentive to His whisper, he watched for evidence of His work. He had such a dependence on the Spirit that one day he simply senses a gentle inner prompting to go to the temple, and off he goes. His obedience to the Spirit leads him to Jesus. Isn't that what the Holy Spirit always does so well? He points us to Jesus.
2 Corinthians 13: 14 speaks of "...the fellowship of the Holy Spirit." That word 'fellowship' means friendship, relationship, intimacy, communication, interaction, companionship. The Holy Spirit is not a force to be used, He is a person to be known. As we get to know Him and recognise His voice, the waiting becomes expectant watching as we sense His prompts and obey His whisper. As Jesus told the disciples in John 16, the Spirit lovingly leads us into all the good things God has planned for us.
At the beginning of 2017, take time to cultivate and develop a close, intimate, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. As with Simeon, the Spirit is upon you and He is within you. He longs to express the will of the Father and magnify the beauty of Jesus to you.