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.”
I’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.