How good are you and I at waiting? Perhaps it depends on the situation and what we are waiting for? There is probably a difference for us between waiting for an ice cream on a sunny day or being stuck in traffic on a motorway. Luke at the start of the Book of Acts records that at one occasion after Jesus had risen from the dead, he said to His followers, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you heard me speak about.” (Acts 1:4, New International Version) Christ was referring to the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of Whom we celebrate on Pentecost Sunday. In one of the songs King David wrote, we read, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14, New International Version)
What confidence do we have right now? Perhaps we are crying out for answers but these do not seem to be coming. Is part of the answer that we need to wait? I know that can be hard, I am not always good at it! If you are in a time of uncertainty, why not tell some others and ask them to pray and journey along with you – including to ask them to help you to ‘wait for the Lord’. I want to encourage you, you are not forgotten by God.
To come back to Jesus’ words to his followers to ‘wait for the gift’… Christ’s calling to any of us to follow him, is not something we can respond to in our own efforts alone. Well, we can try and do so but that will just become either exhausting or empty or both! The disciples were called to wait for the Holy Spirit to be poured upon them: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8) They could have heard, “be my witnesses” and gone and tried to do it in their own strength. But no, they needed the Holy Spirit. As do we as a church community and individually in our lives. He was not poured out on those first disciples just for their sake but for the sake of others too. I love that in Acts 2:5, we read there were people present “from every nation under heaven“.
His Holy Spirit poured out afresh on followers of Jesus in the Leiden area – what kind of impact would this have not just on us those around us? Rather than it being just another Pentecost season where we hear some verses about the Holy Spirit, can I encourage us all to give some time to:
Ask the Lord to fill us afresh with His Holy Spirit and
and see how He touches not only our lives, but also others.
Wait for the gift!