Greatest Expectation

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

Human beings are accustomed to expectations. In life, we have several occasions when we are expectant. As a matter of fact, day in and day out, we expect one thing or the other. Every blessed day is a day of expectation. As the clock ticks, time passes, and as time passes, nightfall is expected to signal the end of a day, and to usher in another day. And thus, it continues and hope rises.

Right now, farmers are harvesting some of their crops. As they gather into barns what their sweat have earned them, they await the rainfalls to signal yet another planting season. When they finished planting in the current year, they waited. They waited for their seeds to decay and germinate. They waited for their seeds to grow. They waited for them to bear fruits. And they would wait for the fruits to mature.

At times, the waiting is for three months, six months, one year, two years, five years or more. But they have to wait - no matter the length of time. If farmers become impatient, and thus, rush to harvest their crops immediately after planting, they would reap decayed seedlings: not germinated, not fruitful and not matured. It is important to wait.

The pregnant woman waits for nine months to have her baby. Even if the gestation period be risky and life threatening; even if it is tiresome and traumatic; in joyful expectation, she awaits the labour day, and dreams of the safe delivery of her baby - "like the Hebrew women". But at this point of being delivered of her baby, the story is far from over.

Being delivered of a baby launches her to yet another round of expectations. She must wait for the child to grow: to wane, to crawl, to stand, to walk, and to go on errands and become productive as a human being. In all these, the mother waits patiently because she "cannot hurry the sunrise". Like the farmer, she cannot rush to harvest immediately after planting because "achiri oso gwujie ji, ehulata ala gwuputa ya". The one thing that is clear, is that she has to wait. Even if she wanted to do otherwise, she cannot.

Of course, there are times when we feel 24 hours of the day too long. There are times when a minute feels like a day. In spite of all those, however, the only option available to us is to wait. Some waiting could be with pleasant expectations. Some waiting could be in anxieties. Some waiting could be in frustrations. Some waiting could be in vain. But we just have to wait.

While we wait, the importance of what we are waiting for determines how patient we may be. And while we wait, the assurance of obtaining what we are waiting for determines how painstaking or persevering we may be. Then, we may ask ourselves, what we are waiting for?

You know, people can wait for very many things: food, drink, medication, relaxation, opportunity, money, promotion, admission, success, friendship, prayers, healing, salvation, and a whole lot of others.

Truly, the whole creation is waiting for salvation. And our greatest expectation is to wait for our salvation. Like a woman in the pangs of childbirth, the whole world is waiting for salvation (Romans 8: 19-22). We are waiting in hope because God does not delay (Hebrews 10: 37).

The Lord keeps His word (2 Peter 3: 9). For "on the appointed time God sent His Son, born of a woman ..." (Galatian 4: 4) to bring His salvation to our world rotten in sin. What a joy to wait for His coming!

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