I have been pondering this for weeks. Have been to busy to put my head, heart and hands to writing. Finally this subject came back to my mind, and as I straighten my pillow I think of what I will be writing about. The good and bad thing about the creative mind of an artist is that you see the whole picture in your head- but how do you get there? How can I put the words on paper that form this vision, readily shaped in my head?
There’s a point to all this- I must say. So I hope you will take time to read the ponderings of a 22 year old. The aim of this blog is not to tell you what you already know, but to just give a little insight in my world of ideas, dreams and passions. The biggest passion of all, far surpassing the others, is knowing and following this character called Jesus Christ. The thing He has been teaching me the most in the past months is a lesson I don’t really like learning, and it definitely doesn’t come easy. It’s a lesson He seems to teach me over and over again. The lesson of waiting, and being thankful and patient with that.
I just started Googling- there’s so many statistics on waiting. Do we actually know how much time in our lives is spent waiting? When I look at God’s Word, I see there are so many times of waiting, whether it’s about the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac or Jacob, up to Acts, the disciples in the upper room; even up to us- waiting for the return of our Savior, Friend and King, Jesus Himself.
Waiting in line, waiting for the bus, waiting for things in our lives to change, waiting and searching for happiness, waiting for things to get better.. There is so many categories of waiting. What I mainly think of in all this, is that we are in a state of mind trying to reach something that we have to wait for. Something that will eventually reach us. Something we can’t get ahold of yet. I cannot move my bus any faster, I can try to get mad at the woman at the grocery store counter that is making me wait because she is being slow. I cannot force happiness to come into my life, nor can I force God to move in my life. As much as I want to.
Have we ever though about why God makes us wait? Have we ever considered the fact there might be something good in waiting? Something that IS actually within our reach, even though it doesn’t seem that way? What does the Bible say about waiting? And why do we seem to hate waiting so much?
That last question, I can answer for myself. We, as humans, want to control all our lives, we want things to go our way or in a way for the wellness of others. But primarily we want things, and we want to make it happen. I think there’s a great lesson hidden in that last sentence. We want to make it happen. We are the impatient ones.
Our urge as human beings is to want things now. But when I look at Gods Kingdom, He always seems to think the opposite way. So.. What if- hold this thought – in the times of waiting, there is a greater joy, a richness of knowing Him, a process working up to a climax of finally grasping this thing we are trying to get ahold of? What if these waiting times (since they take up so much time in our life) are more important than we give them credit for? What if there is a mystery to be discovered in waiting?
In 1 Samuel, Saul acts foolishly and brings burnt offerings before the Lord before the appointed time. Samuel the prophet responds with a true warning- because of Saul’s impatience he had missed out on blessings that God had wanted to give him. Because of the new covenant through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ we may always come before the throne of grace. The condemnation is gone for those who are in Christ (Rom 8:1), so waiting isn’t something that leads to punishment. But, what if God uses waiting not to prove His point, but to shape our lives and character? And what if waiting, with that, makes us realize there’s so much more blessing and beauty in life that we keep on overlooking, since we are so busy looking to far ahead- to a point we have not reached yet?
There is this revelation God has been giving me in the past weeks, and it keeps coming back. I know in my life, I used to be so impatient. I’d be wrestling with the thought, even sad and mad at the situation, even desperate at times, so incredibly fed up with the waiting. God would usually just be quiet until I was done with my rambling, until I got all those thoughts out of my head, leaving space to come back to sanity. As soon as I gave up, He’d be ready to recieve me again, and help me to learn this lesson of waiting. Just like all the great men and women in the Bible. They all had a time of waiting, to grow, prepare and get ready. This is what leads up to what the Lord showed me.
I was thinking of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit- probably the most life-changing event in the lives of many people (first place is of course Jesus being resurrected!). Jesus had just died, had been resurrected, and showed Himself to them, to disappear again and to not come back for an unknown time. I believe things went really fast for them, and I believe that the disciples were not even able to grasp any of it, until they had seen His arms and feet.
In Luke 24 it says this (Amplified Version):
44 Then He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything which is written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.
45 Then He [thoroughly] opened up their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46 And said to them, Thus it is written that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer and on the third day rise from ([l] among) the dead,
47 And that repentance [with a view to and as the condition of] forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
49 And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high.
50 Then He conducted them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up His hands, He invoked a blessing on them.
51 And it occurred that while He was blessing them, He parted from them and was taken up into heaven.
52 And they, worshiping Him, went back to Jerusalem with great joy;
53 And they were continually in the temple celebrating with praises and blessingand extolling God. Amen (so be it).
Jesus says in verse 49: See, I will send in and unto you what God has promised! Remain in the city- WAIT until you are clothed with power from on high. We all know that that power was the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 28, Jesus even says: “I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” (AMP)
I think, this must have been an interesting time. After He rose for the dead, Jesus spent 40 days teaching and preaching to His disciples, making them familiar with the principles of the kingdom. As it says in Acts 2:
3 To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations [unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God.
4 And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak.
5 For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.
6 So when they were assembled, they asked Him, Lord, is this the time when You will reestablish the kingdom and restore it to Israel?
7 He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know[b]what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed [c]years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice andauthority and personal power.
8 But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
After saying all these things, Jesus ascended into heaven. I can so imagine how weird this must have been, honestly. For one moment, they were sky high happy and joyful, but I can also imagine how they came home and the thought sunk in that Jesus had left, not to come back for as far as they knew. Jesus commanded them to wait on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but these words must have been a mystery to them, had it not that He had opened up their minds to understand Scripture and His teachings (Luke 24:45). They understood, but I can imagine how sometimes their hearts could have been even mourning His ‘loss’.
For ten days, the disciples and the women, and other attendees- containing even the brothers of Jesus, went into the upper room for ten days. It says in Acts 1: 14 “All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer, [waiting together] with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
This must have been such a good time of community. I think it also gives us some insight in what they were doing. If I think about waiting, it is an active state of mind. It is a verb, not a noun. When I was pondering this in my time with the Lord, I just thought of waiting. What do I do (in the most positive sense) when I wait?
I found a quote a while ago. It made me aware of my heart’s state in AGAIN a process of waiting God has put me in: “Good things come to those who wait, even better things come to those who are patient.”
Waiting is not necessarily the same as being patient. I think the major difference is that waiting actually is a state of seeing things as it comes, even though it’s a verb, sitting still in the life of every day. Patience is where an individual has put actions in the state of mind, and has come to the conclusion that he or she is doing all possible, and awaiting the result of this state.
I feel like when God speaks about patience, He speaks about things like this:
Patience kills our ego. Learning patience makes us draw nearer to Him. Waiting makes us restless- we need to be in His rest, His patience. Waiting makes us sit still, patience makes us want to be ready for what is coming- prepare. A state in which there seems to be little movement makes us aware of our feelings, thoughts, and passions- which they most likely spoke about in the upper room. So this makes us talk about what we feel is going on. This really makes us depend on Him, He also reminds us of what He did in the past! He makes us aware something is coming- His promise. Patience makes us strive to recieve what is coming. This makes us want to recieve that promise in its fulness. It strengthens us, an active approach makes us durable and it makes that we keep standing. The promise in the end of the waiting time makes us rejoice- God never breaks a promise! Patience brings us to prayer, to seeking Him, reading His word, remembering His deeds, spending time conversing with Him, speaking and listening, it makes us vulnerable. It draws us closer to His heart.
And the awesome thing is, when in Acts 2 the revival came, because of this time of waiting, they were prepared, Their characters were shaped. They had sucked up all the Words of Jesus, worshipped Him with songs and hymns, cried on their knees to recieve the Holy Spirit. They had gotten to know Him better in all this, and they were ready to do His work.
I feel like thát is exactly what waiting is for. It teaches us so much. We think times of waiting are not functional since we don’t see results. But the biggest results are in our own hearts and relationship with God. Those lessons are necessary to be able to bear the responsibility of working in His Kingdom and doing what Jesus Himself did,
In my times of waiting, I have seen how hard it can be, how much we can struggle. My times of waiting also weren’t ten days, but I won’t compare;) God has His perfect timing- kairos. In life of today, chronos, we can be so caught up in the fact ‘nothing seems to happen’. But if we stretch out to Him, and to hearing from Him, He will start speaking-
He WILL speak.
He WILL promise.
He WILL be there every day.
His promise WILL be fulfilled.
And those times- those times are the greatest times of intimacy I have had with Jesus. I have come to love my times with God. It is hard, of course, but He is interested in all of me, even in my struggles. The fact I share with Him makes me get to know Him better.
And then, when I recieve the promise, I can see even more of His plan. Things sometimes become clearer, sometimes they don’t. But I am able to see a build-up leading up to a climax of recieving. But honestly I think the greatest high is actually the point where I surrender to Him fully, and get to a state of shalom, peace, of knowing and resting in Him. I think the climax is the point where we -again- learn the lesson. The point where we know Him deeper, and even if we have not seen Him, we can say ‘I have seen Him in this’.
There is so much beauty in the waiting. There is even blessing in the waiting. Yes it can be hard. But God is always good. He is always there. He will show Himself in ways you never thought He would or could.
That is what I have learned in waiting. I think there is the most to be learned in waiting. There is so much opportunity in waiting. Take those chances. Be patient.
Learn to be patient. Wait on Him. You will not be put to shame. You will be strengthened, filled. Cherish those times with Him. Get to know Him deeper.
He will provide. He will fulfill. He will satisfy. Always.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us…”
– Romans 5
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
– Isaiah 40:31
6 As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.
7 Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
– Colossians 2:6-7
16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
– Ephesians 3:16-19
More scripture on waiting here.