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Wait

Apr 22 2011

Today is Good Friday.  Easter is in two days, and the season of Lent is coming to an end.  I was reminded recently that Lent is a season, like Advent, that emphasizes waiting patiently.  We wait to resume the pleasures of life we have willingly given up for a season.  We wait for the celebration of Christ's resurrection.  We wait for springlike weather.  (As recently as yesterday, there were still snow flurries here.)  We wait because the first group of believers waited three days, still unclear on what was going to happen now that their Master had been executed.  Thomas, the biggest doubter in the group, waited an additional week before he saw the resurrected Messiah face to face.

It seems God uses those who are willing to wait patiently, even if we have no idea how things will get resolved.  Old Testament Joseph was in exile for 20 years before he caught a glimpse of what God was really up to.  Noah waited 40 days for the rain to stop.  Abraham waited until he was 100 to have the son he was promised.  Jesus, God With Us, waited 30 years before He started His public ministry.  The disciples waited for weeks after the ascencion of Christ before the Holy Spirit was poured out on them at Pentacost.  The world waited for centuries between the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah and that first Christmas. 

To follow the Lord is often to wait.  Of course, it is against our nature to wait, and it is very much against our current culture to wait.  We have drive through restaurants, pharmacies, and bank windows.  We have promises of instant relief for headaches, and instant weight loss plans.  We have high speed internet and instant deposit pay checks.  But, if  the love of money is the root of all evil, perhaps the distain for waiting is the root of a lot of bad decisions.  Thieves won't wait to earn the things they desire so badly, so they steal.  Impulsive young people won't wait to have sexual relationships, and end up with pregnancies they're unprepared for.   Eager couples won't wait for a longer courtship, so they marry quickly, and our divorce rate continues to sky rocket.  On and on it goes.

Why does God want us to wait.  Romans tells us that suffering leads to perseverance, which leads to character, which leads to hope.  God's not all that concerned that we get what we want.  He's concerned that we become the kind of person He intended us to be.  that takes time.  We have to wait.

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