Wait

Acts 1:3-5 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

waitI’m not a big fan of waiting.  When I’m at the grocery store, I look for the shortest line.  But sometimes what seemed like the shortest line becomes the longest.  And I wait.  Impatiently, I wait.  When I am approaching a red light, I get in the shortest lane because I don’t like to wait.  When I see something I want, I don’t want to wait.  Waiting stinks.  I want it now.  When the fast food restaurant tells me it will take them 8 minutes to get my food ready, that’s unacceptable.  (Really? Something is very wrong with that.)  We live in a culture that doesn’t want to wait.  The internet moves faster, our phones dial  quicker.  Shoot, even the lines at Disneyland have fast passes so you don’t have to wait.

Despite all this urge to get with it, Jesus said to wait.  I wonder what would have happened if the disciples hadn’t waited?  Maybe there was one dude who said, “Forget this, I’m going into all the world to make disciples.  It can’t wait.”  We don’t read about that guy.  Even if he did exist, he wouldn’t have done anything worthwhile.  Because Jesus said to wait.  Wait for the promise, Jesus said.  Wait for the very thing that will give you the power to accomplish what I’ve asked you to do. Wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  You’ll be glad you waited.

Are we willing to wait?  We pray a quick prayer and grow impatient with God’s timeline.  We don’t wait for Him to answer.  We don’t stop and listen.  We want the fast food answer to prayer, not the 8 minute wait.  Here’s the thing: the things that God promises are worth waiting for.  The Holy Spirit was worth waiting for.  Without Him, the disciples would have been utterly ineffective and the church would have died a long time ago.  But they waited.  And while they waited, they rallied together, prayed, and worshiped.  They got their expectancy all geared up for something big.  Something big came.  Yes, because they waited, something big came.  Maybe we ought to  work on this waiting thing too.

I’ve had enough

2 Kings 24:20  Because of the LORD’s anger, it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that He finally banished them from His presence. Then, Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 

Sometimes you’ve just had enough.  You have tried to be patient, you waited in line, you held out for the best.  But it just isn’t working; it’s time to be done.  Ever have days like those?  I know that I do.  It’s frustrating, isn’t it?  I find that it doesn’t always take a whole lot to get me to the point of frustration, either.  I give my best effort and if it doesn’t work, I am irritated.  I can’t even imagine what God must have gone through with these kings in the Old Testament.

As I have read through 1 and 2 Kings, I have been amazed at God’s pursuit of His people.  King after king after king did evil in the Lord’s sight.  Then there would be some hope, as someone would follow the Lord.  But that guy’s son would mess it all up again.  Generation after generation failed to serve the Lord.  And for some reason, God kept hanging in there.  He kept pursuing them; He kept giving them more opportunities to turn it around.  That’s why today’s passage doesn’t bother me much.  Sure, the Israelites were banished from the Lord’s presence, but He had the right to do it long before He did. 

That’s what is so remarkable about God.  He is a pursuer of us.  Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  His love is so deep for humanity that He does all He can to make a way.  For the nation of Israel, it meant giving them a hundred more chances than they deserved.  For you and I, it was sending His Son to die for us.  That sacrifice speaks of his love for me.  It shows me that even though I might fail Him, He will not give up on me.  You hear that?  He will not give up on us.  Let that refuel your drive to follow Him today!