Almost regardless of whether or not this weekend’s announcement of new restrictions comes as a surprise or with a tinge of relief, it’s probably true of most that we are not looking forward to a lockdown in the winter months. The prospect of that previously much-coveted daily exercise loses its appeal when outside is dark, wet and icy. Walks with that one person from a different household quickly become a challenge on those lovely Durham winter days where the wind is so strong you can barely hear yourself think, let alone another person speak.
Therefore it’s inevitable that this version of lockdown will involve a lot of waiting: whether that’s waiting to see if things are better in a month’s time; if we can have Christmas with family from across the country or globe; or if we can see friends and family who may currently be taking extra safety precautions. Each of these scenarios presents its own unique challenges but all involve waiting – so what wisdom does the Bible have to offer on how we should wait, and more importantly what we are waiting for?
The Psalms are full of wisdom on the topic of waiting and how we can do it well. We are reminded to wait expectantly and with hope (Psalm 5:3) but also patiently in God’s presence without turning to anger (Psalm 37). Reading different Psalms offering depending on personal circumstances can help us in this season regardless of how varied our lives might look.
James writes about patience through times of suffering. This reminds us that we persevere and hold on because we know the ultimate hope we have in Jesus and his return is far greater than any situation the world could throw at us. This isn’t here to minimise our suffering but to encourage us to look forward with hope to an eternity where we won’t have to endure the things that currently burden us.
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7-8 (emphasis added)