There are two kinds of waiting. One is empty waiting which means there's nothing that we can get from waiting. Waiting for unpleasant guest or waiting the result of unprepared test could be the example. The other waiting is an expectant waiting. It is a waiting with full of hope and expectation. And Christians are supposed to wait for Jesus' return. And this season of advent is a good time for us to remind ourselves of it.
There are three characteristics in expectant waiting from our passage. First is that we can wait expectantly when we wait for something sure. Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. Under the Rome in the period of Pax Romana, he was not satisfied with his situation. Rather he hoped for his people's comfort which was based on the words of God. And because he held onto the words of God, which is the most sure, he was able to wait firmly. It is like waiting for an item its payment was already made.
Secondly, expectant waiting affects on our attitudes to our life. If you are waiting something that is going to happen 100%, you are to prepare for it. It affects your current life. If you are going to eat out with your friend in 30 minutes, you won't eat dinner. Your future plan affects your current life. And Simeon was waiting for Jesus' birth expectantly, he lived a righteous and devout life. Unborn Jesus affected his life. However, those who were with him at that time was not affected by the unborn Christ. In the parable of Talents, those who received 5 and 2 waited their master with hard working life because they knew their master would come. On the other hand, the one who received one Talent waited his master in the time-wise, yet his waiting was an empty.
Third, if we wait for something expectantly, we can get two fruits. One is growth, and the other is joy. Simeon waited Christ for a long time and during the time of waiting he was able to grow enough to be led by Holy Spirit, to recognize the baby Jesus, and to be able to grasp what Jesus would do. It was not for the Israel only, but also for the whole nation. And also he was filled with joy because he waited expectantly, while others did not even recognize the baby.