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Luke 2:25-26 – 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 upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. (NIV)
During the long, bitterly cold days of our northern winters, my ponies Frank and Mama wait and hope for a little consolation each day. They receive their regular rations of hay and oats morning and evening, but each day at noon, they patiently stand and wait by the fence watching for me to leave for work, hoping for a special treat. Carrots or apples are their favourites, and I try not to disappoint them.
Waiting amidst hard times is always difficult, so I have often wondered, whenever I read today's passage about Simeon, what the waiting was like for him. The Holy Spirit had revealed a marvellous truth to him. Simeon knew that he was going to live to see the Saviour, but he didn't know when this would happen, and we don't know when this truth was revealed to him. Was it as a youth, during mid-life, or as a senior? In fact, we don't even know how old Simeon was, although he is always portrayed as elderly.
We also don't know if Simeon told others of his revelation by the Holy Spirit, or if he had chosen to or was commanded to keep it quiet. All we really know is that he had to wait in hope for the consolation of Israel. And in due time, his waiting in hope was fulfilled as God had promised.
Perhaps you, too, much like Simeon, are waiting in hope. You don't know how long you may have to wait for the answers which you believe God has promised to you, and some days are harder than others because of this uncertainty. Yet there is one thing which we can always be certain of: the consolation of Israel, Emmanuel, God with us, who has aligned Himself with humanity that humanity might always find hope and consolation for the asking during the long periods of waiting amidst the winters of our lives.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the consolation of Your hope amidst our times of waiting. Bless us with eyes to see the revelation of Emmanuel, God with us, that the cares and uncertainties of our waiting hearts may be dismissed by Your peace. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
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