“Waiting on God is a part of the process.”
There are times in life when our readiness will not encounter opportunity. We must wait, which can be extremely painful. The wonderment of waiting, however, is the potential for God to prepare us for the extraordinary beyond expectation.
Let’s take a moment to consider Luke’s account of the appearance of the risen Jesus…(Stay with me for a moment!)
The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, who were hiding from the authorities in the “upper room” within Jerusalem. Jesus shares a meal with his disciples (24:36-43) before instructing his followers. Jesus “opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” Once more, Jesus points the disciples to the necessity of the Messiah’s suffering and resurrection on the third day. He continues by affirming that a message of repentance and forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name! (24:44-47)
There is a reason to consider these words. After Jesus shares these words with his disciples, he marks them as “witnesses of these things.” The disciples are not done! The death of Jesus has not left the disicples without purpose. They will carry forth the ministry of Jesus; they will be witnesses to all of “these things.”
Good for the disciples – they have purpose!
Big deal…what does their purpose have to do with our waiting on God?
Before the disciples can go, Jesus has them wait…
You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. – Luke 24:48-49
Jesus assures the disciples. God will fulfill the promise of the Holy Spirit. The disciples will go inspired and empowered. But, first, Jesus has them wait. He directs his followers to return to the city. He tells them to go back to the upper room. And, he has them wait on God.
The disciples do as Jesus instructs. They return to the upper room in the city (Acts 1:13), where the disciples remain in constant prayer as they await God and the fulfillment of God’s promise.
The disciples must have been willing to move forward with this ministry, ready to witness to these things, and eager to proclaim the truth revealed to them. But Jesus pulls them back. He has them wait…on God.
There are times in life when we are instructed to wait on God. We are willing, ready, and eager. We deem the time to be right! The time is right for us to have a meaningful relationship. The time is right for us to start a family. The time is right for us to begin a career. The time is right for us to do that thing we have always dreamed of doing. And, honestly, our motives and desires are pure; we intend to glorify God through our relationship, family, career, dream, etc…
But, nothing happens.
We pray. We keep praying. We devote ourselves to prayer.
Still, nothing happens – We don’t meet the guy/girl; we struggle with fertilty; we don’t get the job; or, our dream turns out to be a nightmare!
Our willingness, our readiness, and our eagerness fail to encounter opportunity. Amid the nothingness we receive from all we offer, we grow frustrated. Our frustration grows into confusion. Our confusion grows into fear. Our fear grows into the deep pain of sadness. We begin to wonder: Where is God? Why does God seem absent? Silent? Apathetic?
So, we keep waiting…waiting on God.
The disciples return to the city. They enter into the upper room. They give themselves to prayer. They wait. They wait some more.
On the day of Pentecost, while the followers of Jesus were gathered in one place, the waiting period came to an end. God fulfilled the promise! God poured out the Holy Spirit and it consumed the followers of Jesus, who had been prayerfully waiting.
I would love to spend more time discussing Pentecost and the inspiration and the empowerment of the Spirit, but now’s not the time. Ultimately, I would make the point that the disciples could not have imagined the effect of the Holy Spirit (here’s to keeping it simple!). Their Spirit-inspired and Spirit-empowered proclamation led to the transformed hearts of 3,000 individuals (oh, and the start of the Church).
I’m sure the disciples were willing, ready, and eager to move forward with the ministry entrusted to them! But, it was not the right time, because it was not God’s timing. God was still preparing the disciples for the extraordinary beyond their expectation.
Waiting on God is not easy. We may be willing, ready, and eager. The time may be right for us. God may seem absent, silent, or apathetic from the nothingness we encounter. The truth to our circumstance is much different. God is present and active. We just struggle to understand God’s participation. All will work out, but it must happen in God’s time. For that reason, God often instructs us to wait before God calls us to go (maybe one day soon I can share the wait & go of my call story).
Waiting on God is not easy, but the wait is worth it. Within God’s timing, God prepares us to discover God’s extraordinary beyond our expectation.
So, we keep waiting…waiting on God.
Hey y’all! I would love to get your feedback on my writing. Do you have an opinion on the post? Or, do you have any constructive criticism for working out my thoughts in a more readable fashion? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the reply section or shoot me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org. —Blessings, RC