Last night at the Living Room I talked about how the ascension of Jesus thoroughly impacts what it means for us to be human AND to be the church. To refresh those who were there, and to briefly catch up those who weren’t, the ascension is important to us as humans because:
in Christ’s death he took on our sin and brokenness
in Christ’s resurrection he redeemed and made whole out humanity
and in Christ’s ascension he took that humanity with him to the very heart of Heaven.
What it means for the church is this:
The ascension marks the beginning of church; the time where Jesus hands over the keys to his ministry to us to continue where he left off.
But the challenge I put forth was this:
The disciples were told by Christ to WAIT before they acted – that is to wait for the Holy Spirit to be given to them before they go be “witnesses to all Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth (Acts 1:8).”
So the challenge is around waiting – something we don’t do very well these days.
I just want to share 2 short reflections with you now.
If you were there last night you were asked to choose a bible verse on waiting that correlates with where you are at the moment. Mine is Isaiah 40:31 – “…but they who wait for the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint.”
I chose this verse because I often feel that I’m running a million miles an hour to accomplish all that’s expected of me in life (as a husband, a father, a pastor, a friend, a son, etc.). And also, having just come back from a trip over seas to see my family and friends in America, I’ve come back to NZ with a lot to catch up on and a lot do take care of. I feel very weary, very tired, and weak, and I think that’s because I’m trying to take it all on by myself.
The verse speaks to me because I need to learn how to better wait for the Lord’s help and assistance in life. He will build back up my strength and energy.
So, this week when I feel like it’s not possible to get everything done I need to (and trust me, I’m already there) I will read this verse and reflect on it. I will pray it and meditate on it and trust that I will not grow weary.
and that’s what I hope for you too!
The other reflection is something I didn’t get to work into the message last night. Think of a time where you had to legitimately wait for something.
The saying, “good things come to those who wait,” comes from Lamentations 3:25 – “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
I think part of this waiting that is prevalent in the Bible is meant to help us better prepare for what God is doing, or going to do.
Many of you all know by now that it wasn’t easy for my wife and I to conceive a child. We tried for years. It was a rough couple of years where we questioned God and the reasons why this was so hard for us. (What I’m about to say I say with caution and consideration for people who, indeed, are unable to have children of their own.) If we had our daughter (or a son, for that matter) earlier than we had, I don’t believe that we would have been ready.
Waiting is about preparation and tapping into God’s timing. For all the frustration, pain, and anger we had while trying to have a baby, the timing just wasn’t right. In retrospect we can see that now. In our waiting we were preparing for what was eventually to come.
I ask you now, is there an instance where waiting actually helped you prepare for what was to come?
And has there ever been a time where you opted not to wait for something and it ended up being detrimental to you?
While we wait on God we listen. We study. We pray. We prepare ourselves for what God has in store. And the torture of waiting is good. It breeds character and perseverance. Through taking time out and learning to wait on God we learn to rely less on ourselves and more on the Most High.
Have a great week!