Read Luke 2:25-35
I'm not a good waiter. One of the longest waits I ever had was when my youngest son was born. Back in the olden days when fathers had to wait in..well, waiting rooms while mothers had all the fun. That day(and night!) I waited almost 24 hours as several other husbands came and went to see their new babies.
We spend a lot of our time waiting for something good to happen and fail to enjoy the moment we have now. A child can't wait to be a teen. A teen can't wait to drive, then vote. A young adult looks forward to finishing school, then beginning a career, then having a family. From there it is waiting for that big break, big promotion, then retirement. Each time we think when we reach a certain goal that we will be content. But, ultimately we are not because we are bound by the milestones, events, or things we are anticipating. They rarely, if ever, satisfy.
Simeon was a good waiter. He was not waiting for a thing; he was waiting for a person. Simeon was a godly man who had the Holy Spirit and was promised by the Lord that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. He was looking forward to having something more in life. He didn't want his life to end until he met the Christ(Greek for Messiah). He had come to realize that all his hopes and dreams were tied to a person. In promising Simeon that he would not die until he saw the Messiah, God was guaranteeing he would never die!
All that we ever need or really want is tied to Jesus the Christ. All our hopes and dreams are answered in a personal relationship with Him. When Simeon saw the baby Jesus, he took him in his arms and "praised God, saying, 'Sovereign Lord, now let your servant depart in peace as you have promised. I have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people." Simeon had found what he was waiting for. It came in the person of Jesus. From the time of Adam's first sin the world had been waiting for a savior. Their hopes and ours have been let down many times by failed promises of false messiahs. There is only one who can break the bondage of sin and self, and give us lasting peace.
Simeon could now die in peace. The word used here for "die" can mean "depart", "release", or "set free". It is in experiencing the Christ that we are set free to be all the Lord wants us to be. Each milestone in my life has left me wondering what all the fuss was about. I have only found true joy and contentment in my personal relationship with God's Son. I have been set free and I can now depart from all those false hopes and dreams.