I’ve missed them so much. They were inspirational. They were prayer warriors. They were cheerful. They were wonderful mentors. They led wisely. They are good friends.
Being back in America without them has been okay, but the idea of them returning, to reunite the team is more than exciting to me. It is exhilarating!
I wonder if this was how the Apostles felt after Jesus left them. Acts 1:4-5 (NIV) shares the account of Jesus’ instructions. “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 baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”
They were to wait. Wait for the rest of the team to arrive.
It isn’t fun to wait. I’ve had to wait quite a bit in my lifetime. Wait for pregnancies to come to term. Wait for news of an upcoming, possible job. Wait for the arrival of wonderful guests. Wait for surgery to be finished on a loved one.
Waiting. It isn’t an easy task.
The Apostles kept busy while they were waiting however. After Jesus left them, they returned to Jerusalem to wait as Jesus had requested. We see in the first chapter of Acts that they chose a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:12-26).
In Luke’s account of the time after Jesus’ ascension, we come to an understanding of other things the Apostles did while waiting.
“When he (Jesus) had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” (Luke 24:50-53 – NIV)
The Apostles were continuously in the temple. They continuously praised God. Now that was something to do while waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. They were preparing themselves for what was to come.
Under these circumstances, I suspect the wait wasn’t as difficult as we might think.
So what should we do while we’re waiting?
Be productive. Don’t sit around with only the wait on your mind. Find something to do that will be of good. It will help take your mind off the wait period.
I believe we can also spend time with fellow believers. Just as the Apostles were always at the temple, we can find ways to be near others who believe as we do. This too will help us from becoming so focused on the wait that we miss the anticipation. The joy of something to look forward to.
And then the last thing we can learn from the Apostles is to praise God while we’re waiting. Of course we should praise God all the time, but in times of waiting, I believe praising God will again take our focus off of ourselves and place it directly on God. And let’s face it, there’s always something to praise God for.
I wish God had brought these concepts to my mind two weeks ago. I might have viewed this wait period much differently. Yes, I’ve done these three things, but I might have done a few things differently.
The good news is that now that I’ve learned a lesson, I can use it the next time I am required to wait. And that starts now.
I’m waiting for my fourth grandchild to be born. A little girl. Oh, how difficult it is to wait, but I know the importance of waiting for this baby to develop fully before birth.
So until that time, I will be productive. I will continually be in God’s house with His people. And I will not stop praising God. And so it begins.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,