I’m not very good at waiting.
Especially when I am in not in control of the wait.
One of life’s necessities, waiting will sometimes take us down a hard road that affects us emotionally.
Fear, frustration, anger, or anxiety can become our new normal, and despite our best efforts we struggle to see the good.
Peace I leave with you.
My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.
Think of what those disciples must have felt on the day after the crucifixion. The picture they had of Jesus was shattered. In fear, they hid in their homes not knowing what to do next. Even though Jesus had tried to prepare them, this was something they could never have imagined…
“What now?” “What do we do?” “What will become of us!” “Where do we go from here?”
They had left everything to follow Jesus, and now He was gone. When they counted the cost of following Him, they hadn’t counted on Him leaving them, even though He had tried to prepare them:
But I have told you these things so that when the time comes you may remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.
But now I am going away to Him who sent Me…
Regardless of your stage in life, there will always be seasons of waiting. Some things are within our control, but often they are not; could it be that God wants to remind us that He is in control?
Right now the world seems to be on hold as we wait for a virus to loosen its grip. Tomorrow you might be waiting for a diagnosis, or a job offer, or for love to come find you.
So what do we do? What can we learn? What is God saying in our wait?
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
1.) REST in His promises. Find rest in what you know to be true from His Word.
Focus on the characteristics of God. He is all-knowing, ever-present, and all-powerful. That means He’s in control, even when we feel like the world is spinning out of control. He can take even the most difficult situation and turn it into something beautiful. He never promised that life would be easy, but He did promise to go with us, to guide us, and to give us peace right in the middle of our messy situation.
Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? Look: An hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.
2.) REMEMBER who He is. He is bigger than our current circumstance, and though we can’t always see it from His perspective, He is not sitting idly by just waiting to see what we will do. He is at work in this world that He created, and He can take whatever it is that we’re going through and work it out for good. Even if we can’t see it, we can choose to trust Him. Faith says, “I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and because He loves me, I know that I can trust Him.”
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. 1John 3:16
3.) REFOCUS. If you only see what’s right in front of you, then you are near-sighted. Each of the disciples had been specifically called to follow Jesus. When all of their hopes and dreams were stripped away, the cost of true discipleship was revealed.
“Will you still follow Me–even when…?”
Even when you don’t understand. Even when it gets hard. Even when what you thought it was supposed to look like gets a complete makeover? Our circumstances might seem to loom large, but in the scope of eternity, it is but an ounce of sand in an hourglass.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?
Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. …What can man do to me? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:6,8
I know. You want practical advice on how to get through your wait. Ideas on what to do with your time, or how to be productive in the process–but those things will only come when our minds are set on the things that really matter. When we are at peace with where we are spiritually, it will play out in what we do and how we think. Resting in God’s power to prevail over our situation is the starting place. When we remember who He is and what He has done we can walk forward with confidence–not in ourselves, but in His ability to work it all out for good. Taking our eyes off our situation and instead, refocusing on the “what now?”, means that we look for ways that God is working and to be actively involved as we say yes to Him.
I don’t want to miss it, do you? In the midst of our circumstance we can look for the good. As I am praying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done”, my desire is for that to include me. His kingdom, His purpose, in me and for me.
So what will I do? I will seek Him and I will find Him–because He is here, He will get me through, and, if I let Him, He can give me the right perspective.
Those disciples thought that Saturday was the day after the crucifixion–until it became the day before the resurrection!
“Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed for no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
that He was buried,
that HE WAS RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY
according to the Scriptures…