Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
By Helen Dowd
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There it was again--that dream that had been coming to him for years—"You will not die until you have seen…" Oh how he had longed for that time. Every day he prayed that this would be the day that God's promise would come to pass. "Patience! Patience! Patience!" throbbed in his head.
Slowly arousing from sleep, he willed his aged body from the cot. Placing his elbows on his knees, he lowered his head into his hands. That dream!…However, today it was different. Previously the dream had been vague. Not this time! A dazzling bright light, shrouded in clouds, radiated from the heavens. It came closer, closer. Hands holding a tiny infant emerged from the clouds. . .Gently, gently, an infant was placed in his arms. The old man went into his day with renewed anticipation.
Hobbling to her place of work day after day to perform her duties, she willed her ancient body and creaking bones to cooperate. Her routine had been the same ever since her husband had died, more than six decades ago. For this very old lady each day began with expectation. Patiently she waited for the fulfilling of a prophecy God had given her. Oh how her arms ached for that day she would hold an infant in her arms. Would today be the day?
Many of the very devout had watched long for the promised Messiah. They knew every sign given them by the prophets. Now it was evident. The time was imminent. Their Consolation--their Deliverer--would come soon. Some believed that they would not die until their eyes had seen His coming. Simeon and Anna were two such people.
Simeon: "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…For mine eyes have seen thy salvation..." Luke 2:27-30
Mary and Joseph stood in awe as the old man poured out a blessing on their Son. "How could Simeon have known?" Yet, in their hearts they knew how Simeon knew. God had revealed to this Godly man, that he would not die until he had seen "The Consolation of Israel."
Simeon continued his blessing. Placing the Babe back into His mother's arms, he laid his hands on Mary and said: "This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:34-35. Mary would not understand what these words meant until many years later, when she witnessed the death of her Son--the Son of God--on the cross of Calvary.
Simeon's blessing was finished. God had sent His promised Messiah to free Israel--and the entire world--from the bondage of sin. Simeon's patience had been rewarded. He could now die in peace.
And Anna: Not only did Simeon await the announcement of the Messiah, but so also did a very elderly prophetess, Anna.
Anna had waited patiently for the fulfilling of a prophecy God had given her years ago—the Redemption of Israel. Many times she had seen an elderly man of God at the temple. And this day, while she was going about her Temple duties, she saw him enter and approach the couple who had just come in with a baby in their arms. She listened with joy to what Simeon was saying. Anna knew in her heart that this Babe was the Promised One.
When Simeon had finished his blessing, Anna took the Baby in her arms and blessed Him. "And she…gave thanks…unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for the redemption in Jerusalem (or Israel)." Luke 2:38. Oh what a magnificent day this was! At last she was holding that Baby in her arms. Her eyes had seen the glory of the Lord. Her patience had been rewarded. Now she was ready to die.
And many of the very devout wait patiently: We are among this group. We wait and watch patiently for the finalization of this 'Consolation': Christ's coming again to complete His redemption—the gathering of His saints to be forever with Him. Maranatha! Amen!
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