We’ve all struggled with waiting at some point or another. Most of us don’t like it much. I mean, I’m not talking about the eager anticipation of a gift on Christmas morning. I’m talking about waiting in faith. Waiting for someone to be healed. Waiting for the job you have trained so hard for. Waiting for a loved one’s salvation. You know, the kind that tests the limits of our patience and good nature. The kind of waiting that makes us cry out to God in desperation, and sometimes frustration. The kind of waiting that sometimes leaves us telling God that we don’t know how much longer we can stand it.
We’re in good company. Abraham and Sarah waited for their child, and indeed, for the nations that would be born and blessed through them. David waited to be appointed king. Joseph awaited release from prison. The Hebrews waited for the Messiah. We wait in the shadows of many who have waited before us.
Maybe you have heard that before, and maybe it doesn’t spark hope in you anymore. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about it. But I want to offer you the same encouragement God offered me in my prayer time recently.
Jesus waits. Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus waited, and waits still today? That’s right. And he’s been waiting longer than you and I ever could. He’s been waiting millennia.
You see when Jesus ascended to heaven, he had already made it clear that no one knows when he will return, not even Jesus himself (see Matthew 24:36). And we know that he longs for us to be with him in heaven (see John 14:3). But even Jesus has to wait for the Father before he will be reunited with all of us, his brothers and sisters. Now, I ask you, if Jesus can wait for millennia for the father to tell him when to move, when he can claim his people and redeem and restore his Creation, usher in heaven on Earth, can’t we wait a few days, months, or even years for him to tell us when to move or for him to move on our behalf?
Jesus models waiting well. As you know, waiting is not passive. It takes great effort and energy, and even Jesus is not idle in his waiting. He is working for our good, praying to the father on our behalf, and interceding for us, while he trusts in the Father’s timing. Likewise, we must be active in prayer, working for the good of others, and doing the work we know God has called us to while we wait.
Jesus waits with you. I wonder if, the next time you feel weary in your waiting season, perhaps it will help to think about the fact that Jesus waits with you and even for you. He waits with you for your dream to be realized, but he also waits for his own. I urge you, as you wait for answered prayers, for dreams to be realized, for hope to light in your heart … remember that you do not wait alone. Follow the example Jesus sets.
Lord, help me wait like you wait. You will return to claim your people and establish your Kingdom, but even you do not know when. You are still at work even as you wait. Help me to follow your example. Help me to wait patiently, remembering that my heart’s ultimate desire is union with you, and help me to be productive and fruitful in the pursuits you set before me. In your name, amen.