Acts 1: 4-7
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
These disciples have been mentored by Jesus for 3 years. Day in and day out, for over 1000 days, they have watched and put into practice what they have seen Jesus do. And now that Jesus is alive they’re probably itching to get out there and start telling people the message of the Gospel. They think they’re ready.
But Jesus says: "Wait, don’t go. You think you’re ready, but you’re not yet. Just hang on a little while longer."
Few of us like waiting. I'm incredibly impatient. I hate waiting in queues, I hate waiting for people, I hate waiting at traffic lights, I hate waiting in the check-out lines at supermarkets.
I don’t like waiting. And I don’t like waiting for God.
Have you noticed, that God never seems to be in as big a rush as we are? He never seems to get as flustered and frazzled about waiting as we do. You’d think He had all the time in the world.
Many times in recent years I thought I was ready for the next step, I was chomping at the bit to move on. But God said: 'Wait. Not just yet.' That was so difficult because I was convinced I was prepared.
You know, God often has to take time to do a work in us, before He can do what He wants through us. Who we are is more important to God than what we do. Our character is more important than our calling. And so every man and woman that God has ever used, has been taken through a period of waiting and preparation and development, often behind the scenes. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, even Jesus. And then when God is ready, or maybe more, when we’re ready, Heaven moves, God’s opens doors and we see things begin to happen.
Some of you are in that place right now - God's waiting room.
Waiting for healing, for relationships to be restored, waiting for a job, waiting for God to bring you a husband or wife, waiting to conceive, waiting for prayers to be answered. And you’re frustrated, annoyed, impatient, discouraged, disappointed and beginning to wonder if God even cares.
Know that God is at work, even though it may not be entirely obvious and visible. Trust His heart, His character, when you can't see His hand. Ask Him: "What are you doing in me? Why the delay? What are you preparing me for."
Wendy Pope helpfully says this in her book 'Wait and See':
“Waiting is hard. In the wait and see, it is imperative that we pause to consider the possibilities of God’s design. From the depths of our ache, can we dare say to Him, “Show me what You have planned. I am willing to wait?”
With the Psalmist, why not declare to yourself and the heavens today:
"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.” (Psalm 27: 13-14)