Have you read Day 14 – The Example of the Early Church yet? If you haven’t had a chance, please grab your book then come on back. Thanks! Do you remember being a kid waiting for your birthday to come around? I sure do! It seemed to take forever – first the month…then the week…then finally the DAY arrived. But, I had to wait until school was out for the day, wait for supper to get cooked, wait for the family to finish eating…wait, wait, WAIT, to get to the main attraction: the gifts!
“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.’” Acts 1:4
I do not like to wait. I’m not good at it. If I were a superhero I would likely be Impatient Girl. So, I often run ahead as if God is going to follow me…because, clearly, I know where I’m going. HA! He patiently watches me as I try to speed through, impatient to “get to the gifts!” He knows that waiting is itself a gift – a valuable opportunity for prayer, relationship, and growing. Molding takes place in prayerful waiting that otherwise couldn’t happen. If I’m too busy doing my own thing, when does God get to share the gifts He has for me? I find myself really struggling with that! He’s still God and I’m still not (thankfully!) so He can, in all reality, do anything He wants. But Acts 1: 4 clearly tells us that what He wants is for us to wait and John Devries backs this up in an incredibly powerful way:
“In prayer, the disciples turned a key in the gates of heaven, and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. The Spirit did all that was promised. He empowered Jesus’ followers with the resources of divine power and divine transformation, changing a bunch of cowards into fearless witnesses to the truth. This ragtag bunch of poor fishermen and farmers who, like their Leader, had little earthly wealth, were recipients of the wealth of heaven, and out of them came a movement that swept the world.” Why Pray? Pg 92
Cowards. Ragtag. Poor. They prayed. Fearless. Wealth of heaven. Out of them came a movement that swept the world. Hang on…what happened? Two little words there that might get lost in between who the disciples were and who they became while they waited: They prayed. God honored their prayerful patience with the promised Gift:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4
Does writing this blog post today mean I’m going to walk perfectly with Jesus in lock-step, praying and waiting as the patient handmaid I should be? Doubtful – c’mon, it’s Impatient Girl writing this. It does mean that my Father knows my impatient tendencies and will provide many opportunities to learn to wait on Him. The waiting still won’t be easy. I’ll still want to tear open the gifts God has set aside for me. But, He promises the waiting will be worth it!
“But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.” Isaiah 40:31 The Message
What do you think? Does impatience sometimes get the better of you, too? I definitely do not have “waiting” figured out but I do have joy in the knowledge waiting produces patience and patience brings me closer to my Dad…and His gifts.