What have you been waiting for? Kids to arrive? Kids to grow up? Grandkids? Husband? Husband to grow up? Waiting marks a woman’s life. So many of her experiences test, shape, and develop her capacity to wait.
Anna was a well-worn example of patient waiting. Her short marriage ended in widowhood. She spent the remainder of her eighty-four-plus years serving in the temple as a prophetess. She focused her life on God and helped others do the same. Anna was present when Joseph and Mary brought the child Jesus to Jerusalem for the first time. She was probably one of those indelible memories from the early days of her son’s life that Mary “kept … in her heart and thought about them often” (Luke 2:19). Later Mary may have shared them with Luke as he interviewed those closest to Jesus.
Anna overheard Simeon’s prophecy about Jesus and immediately added her own excited words of praise and confirmation for the Savior. She spread the word about the child to those she knew were genuinely awaiting the Messiah.
Anna made the temple her home. Though he was writing about widows in the church several decades later, Paul seemed to be describing Anna when he wrote to Timothy, “Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help” (1 Tim. 5:5). Anna discovered that God can make every passage of life meaningful and useful. The long years of widowhood were also effective years of worship and service.
Like Anna, we often patiently go about the daily routines of life. However, perhaps you are waiting for God to reveal a more exciting plan for your life. Ask God to show you the potential for even this time of seeming insignificance to become meaningful and effective service for him.
God can make every passage of life worthwhile. God helps us learn to wait.