Sometimes with little children we are forced to wait. Wait while they inspect this rock, while they get their shoes on or choose which toilet to use or when they will decide it’s time to be be born. I’m not a big fan of waiting myself. My husband and I met and fell in love pretty much at first sight, got married several months later and welcomed our sweet honeymoon baby nine months after that. Now I’m waiting for our fourth to arrive . . . and waiting.
Last week in Bible study (I’m doing Bible Study Fellowship this year) the leader pointed out that in the book of Acts Jesus’ disciples were commanded to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus ascended into heaven and the gift of the Spirit was ten days later. Ten days of waiting. What did they fill that time with?
I wait at stop signs, commercial breaks, for the cookies to be done and check my e-mail or Facebook or try to download a podcast. Waiting is boring so I try to fill it with it with distractions. But this isn’t the sort of waiting Christ encouraged. He was disappointed, even hurt, when his disciples fell asleep while waiting for him in the garden of Olives. “Couldn’t you wait with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40) Between the ascension and Pentecost the disciples waited and prayed. (Acts 1:13-14) They went about the business they knew must be done (finding a replacement for Judas) and they prayed for guidance and for the promised gift of the Spirit. They also remained together so that when the Holy Spirit came, “they were all with one accord in one place.” (Acts 2:1)
Waiting can be an opportunity for prayer and acts of faithful preparation. If we wait and watch like Jesus urged his disciples to in the garden of Olives we will be ready when it’s time to move forward. How often have I been checking my e-mail at a stop light only to miss when the light turns green! Waiting doesn’t have to be boring empty space, it can be purposeful and watchful. So as I wait for this little baby to arrive I can pray for a safe delivery, get the house ready and spend some precious focused time with my other kiddos.
Whatever you are waiting for this week I hope that its not only worth the wait but that the waiting is filled with something worthwhile. Blessings!