This is a word that is so hard for most of us.
Wait. In today’s world of instant gratification “Wait” is almost a curse word. We want what we want and we want it right now. If we want information we Google it immediately and find everything we could want to know…and often more than we needed. If we want food we run to McDonalds and get drive-thru so we don’t interrupt our busy schedules. Coffee…Starbucks! Toilet paper…well good luck. Even Amazon is sold out. In this moment of forced slow-down we pray and pray for a quick resolution so we can get back to our hurry-hurry lives but it seems He’s not answering. My parents taught me there are no unanswered prayers. God has three answers: Yes, No and Wait. He’s said that last one to me a lot in my life.
This week my pastor talked about waiting. Really that’s where I got this Word of Encouragement from. (Thanks Kris, if you’re reading this.). We’ve been studying Revelation for a while and we’re in Chapter 15 just now. He talked about the language of the book. Apocalyptic literature is hard for most of us ordinary people to understand but the audience John was writing to knew what he was talking about. John talks in the language of Moses here, using the Exodus and the plagues to talk about the end times he was watching unfold. Like in the future we’ll use apocalyptic language referencing the scarcity of toilet paper and hand sanitizer and people who were born after won’t know what we’re talking about.
Rev 6:9-11 talks about the fifth seal being opened and the martyrs under the alter asking how long until He will avenge their blood. They were told to wait a little longer until all who were to die for their faith have been killed. They wait for the coming of Christ! They wait for the glorious day He comes to avenge them, and to set the world to rights and to once and for all destroy the enemy!
Wow! That’s something that’s worth the wait, isn’t it! Our waiting here, now, in this moment, is a reflection of our waiting on Christ to return. Certain things must be accomplished before it is the right time, and the same is true of this moment.
Here’s where my Calvinist leanings come out, and Jeff will tease me for them. But whether or not you are Calvinist, if you believe in the one true God, you believe He is holy and righteous and all-powerful then you have to accept that He can control all. Our very breath is in His hands. We only breathe until He says we don’t. (Job 12:10 In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind) I, as a Calvinist, believe God has ordained this moment we are in and we will be here until He is done with it. But as a believer in an all-powerful Almighty you must at the very least accept that He has allowed this moment. In either case you must know this is not a surprise to Him and He will use it for His glory. Will you? Will you use this time to dig into His Word? Will you use it to spread His Word by whatever means you can in our isolation? Or will you complain that you can’t get out and get your nails done or your target practice in? I think most of you will go the first route, even when tempted to go the second.
This is a chance to show who we are in Christ by the way we react. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35. So love one another. Love your neighbors. Call them, text them, check in on them, let them know you love them. And wait patiently for the Lord.
I will leave you with a bit from Psalm 27, but I encourage you to read the whole Psalm. It is a comforting call to take shelter and refuge in the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 says “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”