OK, pastor, what is the secret of waiting? Two truths are discernible in our wait problem:
First, it is waiting without uncertainty. The day of the Lord will come! It had been 734 years that Israel waited, but God sent His Son. The problem? They wanted a political leader, not a spiritual redeemer. The God who sent His Son the first time will indeed send His Son the second time. It is a certainty that Jesus will return. The question is when? The answer? We don’t know. There are many who try to set the day and time. But those days simply come and go. Beyond the issue of when Jesus will return is the question, “what do we expect in His return?” We wait for a new heaven and a new earth. We wait for all dying to end, pain to cease, evil to be destroyed.
Second, waiting can be beneficial. Waiting upon the Lord is not a pain-in-the-neck waiting, like for a bus or in the line at the supermarket. It is an active waiting, and in the time of waiting the believer works for the kingdom. Sometimes the waiting following prayer is just as beneficial.
Howard Thurman tells the story of going with a young doctor on rounds in Canada. Despite the huge snow drifts, he refused to use chains. There was quite a ceremony every time he started out. First, he would let his clutch out slowly, applying the gas very gently as he said, “Even a little energy applied directly to an object, however large, will move it, if steadily applied and given sufficient time to work.” Not once was his car stalled. God is the God of proper timing. Why did God send His Son when He did? Why not sooner?
Because God sees all things and knows all things. And knows the “proper time” for everything.
Christmas will soon be here and Christmas finds us waiting. It has been over 2,000 years and we are still waiting. We don’t know when Jesus will return. We live as if it will be tomorrow. We work as if it will be a 1,000 more years.