The Discipline of Waiting

“The Discipline of Waiting”

The promise . . . that’s really all they had.  Of course, then the resurrection.  There is that!  The promise was given in John 14:16,17:  “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that he may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth . . . .”  A promise.  The promise.  In John 20:22, Jesus “. . . breathed on them . . .  and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  The promise.  It would be several weeks before Jesus would repeat the promise in Acts 1:8: “. . . but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  The promise.  That’s really all they had.  And of course, the resurrection!  There is that.

But, what now?  Power, when?  Faith is often tested in the “waiting.”  27 times in the Psalms we are called to wait for the Lord, or we are admonished to wait upon or for the Lord.   “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).  “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him”  (62:5).  It is to say that it takes courage to wait for the Lord.  Silence and courage.  Hope and courage -  renewed while waiting.

Sometimes we feel that our waiting is wasted time.  Barbara Brown Taylor writes, “Our waiting is not nothing.  It is something – a very big something – because people tend to be shaped by whatever it is they are waiting for.”  If we are shaped by what or for whom we wait, then to wait upon the Lord is to be shaped by the Lord.  Indeed, the disciples were shaped by the interlude between the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus.  Faith was tried.  Character was forged.  Patience was learned.  A new camaraderie was established.  The disciples learned to listen to one another and, it would seem, to trust more deeply in one another.  This seems evident by their behavior after Jesus ascended.  (Acts 1:12-26)

So, a promise.  An interlude.  A wait.  A company.  They waited.  They obeyed in waiting and refused to act precipitously.  Wait.  Through the 40 day.  Through the 10 days after the ascension.  Have you ever felt that way?  Waiting and more waiting?  Here is an anchor verse:  “. . . those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength (renew their strength); they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:31)

On the journey . . .

Pastor J K

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