Waiting…

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Theophilus, the first scroll I wrote concerned everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning, right up to the day when he was taken up into heaven. Before he was taken up, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus instructed the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed them that he was alive with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, speaking to them about God’s kingdom. While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, “This is what you heard from me: John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” ~Acts 1:1-5 (CEB)

“Most of us do not wait well. A checkout line at the grocery store, a registration line at school, a doctor’s appointment, or holiday traffic can quickly make us impatient, uneasy, and irritable. We want things at one and do not like to wait. Further, our culture thrives on instant responses from fast food to computers- we want everything fast. So waiting is often a hard lesson for us to learn. My young grandchildren planted watermelon seeds with the dream of eating their own red, juicy watermelon. Despite frequent reminders that the melons would take eighty days to ripen, the children could not resist picking a couple of melons long before they matured. They were disappointed when the cut melons delivered far less than the taste treat they had dreamed about. As we grow older, we sometimes find waiting easier, but we still want God to respond to our requests with speed and accuracy.

However, deep in our hearts we know that many things cannot be hurried without endangering the results for which we wait. Friendship, character, personal transformation, pregnancy, ripened fruit, and sprouting seeds all take time. Each has its own schedule. While we may encourage a peach to ripen, it still requires a certain number of days on the tree and in the sun. Trying to hasten the process can lead to less than desirable results.

Jesus asked the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promised power to meet all that lay ahead of them as well as an advocate to teach them all that they needed to now. It must have been hard to wait. They were under suspicion by the authorities. They wanted to get on with their lives; and how did they know that waiting would make any difference? The disciples were obedient to the command of Jesus, though, and their obedience was rewarded with power and with a companion.

That power and that companion have been with Christians ever since. We claim the power of the Holy Spirit today to strengthen us for living fully, faithfully, and joyfully. We claim the companionship of Jesus Christ to guide, instruct, and sustain us day by day. Sometimes we wait for that power to become active or for that kind of companionship to blossom in our relationship with God in Christ. As we learn to earnestly seek and patiently wait- in God’s perfect timing- the gifts are given. Then we now it was worth the wait.” ~From A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God Rueben P. Job

Almighty God, you have called us, chosen us to be your people. We want now to receive your word of guidance and blessing. Grant unto us ears to hear, eyes to see, and faith to respond to your love and leadership. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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