Waiting is one of the most difficult things that we have to do in life. It’s difficult because what we’re waiting for is often something we want very much, and yet we don’t know when, or if, it will come. And the uncertainty brings fear, and the fear brings pain.
- The single gal (or guy) who longs to be married. Maybe she’s dating; maybe she’s not. But she is waiting. And while she waits, the wedding invitations of her friends fill the mailbox.
- The couple longing for children. They are waiting…and watching others decorate nurseries.
- Or consider the wait of the unemployed. The people around them are going to the office or the jobsite, but they are home…alone…waiting.
If others are moving on, why am I standing still? This is the question of the one who waits.
Acts 1 is a chapter of waiting.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me;” Acts 1:4 (ESV)
The anticipation must have been overwhelming. And either doubt or boredom would surely have been the temptation of the day. And the disciples waited…and waited. Oh sure, they had a to-do list: they had to replace the traitor, and that took a little time…but mostly they waited.
Of course, while we wait, we also have things to do, but we often do them reluctantly, because what we really want to be doing is something entirely different. Who wants to send out resumes when you could be working? Who wants to go to work when you could be tending to a newborn? Who wants to be alone on a Friday night when you could be sharing pizza and a movie with the one you love? So we trudge on…maybe 75% in the game, but usually not fully engaged, because our hearts and minds are somewhere else…wishing and waiting.
You say, “I appreciate what you are trying to say here, but my wait is different than theirs. They had a promise. I have nothing. They had the Word of Jesus that the Helper would come. I have no word at all that my dream will come true.”
Well, if I may speak into your waiting, let me say this: Don’t be so sure.
Don’t be so sure that there is no promise for you.
Of course there may be no specific promise of a spouse or a baby or a job. But what are you truly hoping for when you hope for these? Aren’t you truly hoping for the sense of fulfillment that you believe these things will bring to your soul?
We wait for things because we believe that the things we wait for hold the key to our joy. And there’s the rub – the particular item or life situation that we wait for may or may not come, but for believers, the joy is definitely on its way. There’s a promise for that, even a myriad of them.
And those 120 upper-room souls teach us one more thing about waiting: while we wait for what we believe will result in our joy, we continue to seek our joy where Scripture again and again promises it will be found:
All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer… Acts 1:14 (ESV)
Tomorrow: Wednesday, February 2: Acts 2