Read His Words Before Ours!
Waiting for it to come,
Not knowing what it is.
Hoping for more,
Not knowing what I want.
Dreaming for things,
Not truly believing they will be.
Staying where I am,
Not wanting to make the wrong move.
Stepping out in faith,
Not seeing where I am going.
Leaping into what I do not know,
Trusting what I do not see.
Often, the toughest part of waiting is watching everyone seemingly race past us in the meantime. To watch God move so actively and clearly everywhere, it seems, but in us.
I’ve historically been a pretty patient person. There’s something thrilling about living in anticipation. Waiting for it to come, letting the excitement build as time passes. I’m amazed by the joy that comes when I’m waiting for a big event, or for something to arrive in the mail, or for the next time I will see people I love.
This kind of waiting usually has an expiration date. We know when events will happen, and we can track our packages in the mail.
What about when we don’t know the deadline? When we don’t know when, or even IF something will happen? What does waiting look like then?
Before Jesus ascended, He told His disciples exactly what would happen. They would receive the Holy Spirit and become His bold witnesses throughout the earth. (Acts 1:4-7) What He didn’t explain, however, is precisely WHEN, or HOW. After Jesus returned to Heaven, the disciples retreated to the upper room, gathered with other believers, and prayed fervently as they waited.
What might have been different had the disciples taken matters into their own hands? If they’d grown weary of waiting for what Jesus had promised and, instead, began their own ministry without the power and direction of the Holy Spirit? While they may have spread the Good News about Jesus with fine intentions, their ministry certainly wouldn’t have been as effective. Without the indwelling, empowerment, and leadership of the Holy Spirit, their humanity would have left their efforts crumbling in inadequacy and failure. (Galatians 5:16-23)
In waiting on the Lord, as difficult and confusing as it surely was, their absolute surrender and attention to the Lord sustained them to the day Jesus fulfilled His promise and the Holy Spirit was given. The excitement that flooded through those present must have been palpable; Acts 2:5-11 describes how everyone heard the wonders of God in their own language!
The rest of Acts 2 describes how Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, filled with the Holy-Spirit, preached to the crowd, telling them the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Around 3,000 people were added to the family of God that day! Without waiting on the promise of Jesus, their work would have most certainly not produced such God-sized results.
Just as the disciples waited expectantly in the upper room, I too have been in a season of waiting. As I seek God’s heart, the answers to my prayers seem to fall into three main categories: “not now” and “not yet” and “no.” And while the waiting can be undeniably painful, it’s an ache laced with hope, potential, and possibility.
Life in its current state feels unstable, as though the slightest imbalance will cause an unstoppable avalanche. While there is goodness in the current moment, my heart cannot help but see the possibility for the future and reach out for it in desperate, yearning grasps.
These are the things I’ve been doing that are good, rich, and God-honoring, but are not meant for this season. In these endings, we can find comfort in the often-quoted but still meaningful opening to Ecclesiastes 3.
“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven.”
I pray that when one time passes, we can say good-bye with grace and wait on the Lord to guide us into the next season.
These are promises or desires I hold with an open hand, surrendered to God’s perfect will and timing. Like the disciples in the upper room, I wait expectantly for God’s guidance and empowerment. In these times, we can “commit [our] ways to the Lord; trust in Him,” believing that in His perfect timing, “He will act,” leading us into, and equipping us for, the next season. (Psalm 37:5)
Sometimes, the answer is simply, “No”, which can be incredibly hard to come to terms with. When our hearts ache for what will never be, we can be assured that our good Father wraps His arms around us, loves us unfailingly, and will walk with us through the hurt, confusion, and disappointment.
Jesus is certainly enough for me in this life. In fact, there have been moments in my life when I have clung to the Hope of Jesus alone.
But I fully believe God did not create us to simply acquiesce to the here and now. Hope and vision for the future are built into us. We wait expectantly for the coming of Jesus, while being faithful to the work He has for us today.
In our waiting, in our own upper rooms, may we follow the disciples’ lead, marrying hope of fulfillment with a determination to move into the next season only when released by God.
As we wait, I’d encourage us to be steadfast, friends, and look for Him in the here and now, and you will find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Seek the next best step from Him, however small, and He will show it to you. (Psalm 32:8) Go to your upper room and pray steadfastly and fervently. (Psalm 63:1-2)
Wait on the Lord and He will show you the right time and place.
Most importantly, bask in the goodness of the now and in all of the richness that simply being with your Savior can bring.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!