Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a Mommy. Growing up when my friends and family asked me what I wanted be, I would proudly reply, “a wife and mother”. So you can imagine my excitement when my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. I picked out names, planned out the nursery, looked at maternity clothes….the whole bit. I was certain I’d get pregnant immediately. But that was my plan, not God’s. His plan involved waiting and having patience. And that’s why I love the story of Simeon. He too knew the pain of waiting, and the joy of seeing God’s promises fulfilled.
Simeon whose name means “God has heard”, was a man living in Jerusalem who we are told was “just and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” (v. 25). To be called “just and devout”, meant that Simeon was a righteous man who was both faithful and obedient to God. And just like every other Jew, he was waiting for the promised Messiah to come and redeem the people of Israel. God had also given Simeon the gift of the Holy Spirit who revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the “Lord’s Christ”. (v. 26).
What an amazing promise from God! I can picture Simeon waking up each morning with excitement wondering if today was the day his promise would be fulfilled, and his disappointment when it didn’t happen. Maybe he felt discouraged or forgotten as days turned into months, and months into years. Have you ever felt that way? As though you’ve been put on the back burner by God, or that He isn’t listening at all? I have. For as I stated earlier, my plan to start a family was just that. Mine. My plan, in my timing. My will, not God’s. Needless to say, I didn’t get pregnant. And like Simeon, my days turned into months, my months into years. We went to the doctor only to receive the devastating news that without medical intervention, we would be unable to have children. But then something wonderful happened. Immediately after hearing the words come out of the doctor’s mouth, Luke 1:37 popped into my head. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” And in that moment, I knew God was telling me to trust Him, and to wait.
Though we may not like it, waiting on God is a big part of our walk of faith. There may be many reasons why God calls us to wait. Perhaps He’s trying to teach us patience. Maybe we need to learn to surrender completely to His will, or to trust in His perfect timing. Whatever it is, waiting on God isn’t easy. And it also isn’t passive. We don’t sit around passing the time waiting until He acts on our behalf. Instead we praise and worship Him. We go about doing the tasks that He calls us to do. We keep going when the going is hard and slow. And we trust that He will do just as He has promised in faithful obedience.
Lamentation 3:25 tells us that, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” Simeon’s story is the perfect example of this. One day as he was going about his business, the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple. There he encountered Joseph and Mary who were presenting the baby Jesus to the Lord according to the custom of the Law. As Simeon took Jesus into his arms, joy filled his heart as he knew that this baby was the One he had been waiting for. Simeon immediately blessed God, for had seen God’s salvation. A salvation that wasn’t just for the Jews, but for all people. Oh the wonderful joy and peace Simeon must have felt in seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise, his life was now complete.
God keeps His promises. His faithful servant Simeon witnessed the Savior as promised. And my story? I too was going about my business, waiting on God when in the middle of a work day the Holy Spirit prompted me to go and buy a pregnancy test. I had no reason to believe I was pregnant, and to me the idea was a little silly. But in faith I bought that test, and nine months later my husband and I were blessed with a healthy baby boy.