“…Jesus instructed them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem, but wait here until you receive the gift I told you about, the gift the Father has promised. For John baptized you in water, but in a few days from now you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit!” – Acts 1:4-5.
Most of us do not enjoy sitting in a waiting room. doctor office, hospital waiting room, or heaven forbid outside an IRS office. But waiting rooms are a way of life. In fact, we are all in a waiting room of sorts with this pandemic – waiting to see when life will return to normal, or at least free us up to do many of the things we took for granted but now can’t do.
Sometimes God puts us in a waiting room as a part of our experience in the Christian life. And waiting on the Lord may be one of the more difficult aspects of the Christian life. When Jesus left earth to go back to heaven, He told His followers that He would return, and that they needed to wait. And that’s what we are doing right now, too – waiting on His return.
Most of us have heard the old adage, “Don’t just stand there – do something.” Oftentimes, God says to us, “Don’t just do something – stand there.” We feel better, more valuable, have more meaning if we are doing something – If we’re busy. But waiting means that we are going to trust that God knows what He is doing. Waiting is not easy, but it is often exactly what God wants us to do so He can take us to a new, deeper place in our walk with Him.
The apostles were also waiting because Jesus was going to send the Holy Spirit to them after He left. They were to wait until the Spirit came to them, which He did on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. And when the Holy Spirit came to them, He transformed them into the vessels that God would use to take the Gospel to the world.
Most people define the word “wait” as being patient and still. But it can be more than that. It could well be that the Lord wants us to be patient and still during the pandemic, but it also could mean that He is asking us to be expectantly watchful. In other words to wait on the Lord like a waiter watches his or her customers. The pandemic will either frustrate us or the opportunities will intrigue and motivate us. Waiting can also be productive.
While we are waiting we can spend more time on relationships rather than interacting with groups. We can discover unique qualities and characteristics in people that we would never have known if part of a group. We can connect with people who moved away. We can spend more time in prayer. We can reconnect with old friends. And we can be available as needs arise while we are waiting.
And while we are waiting we can ask the Holy Spirit to show us how we can serve in this season of limitations. We may need to wait and be patient, but it doesn’t hurt to be productive even when we are waiting.
- What’s something you’re currently waiting for God to do for you? What might He be doing in you?
- Why do you think God’s timing is different from ours? What could be so different about our perspective? What do you typically do while you are waiting?