Have you ever felt stopped by God — as if your momentum and enthusiasm was halted with an unexpected, “Wait”?
When our eyes, minds, and hearts are fixed on only what we can see, it’s difficult to swallow the instruction to wait. It can feel as though the world is passing us by. What we witness in our peripheral — in headlines, social media, and in the lives of friends and family — leaves us feeling behind, even irrelevant. We want to go, do, be, say, and succeed. The pace of society tells us we’re always a step behind, and we fatigue ourselves with a life of trying to keep up. Yet God’s idea of success is much more layered and beautiful than how success is portrayed in this world. Success, to Him, is multifaceted, each unique angle reflecting His glory. It operates on His timeline.
In Acts chapter 1, we’re given this glimpse into God’s timing. Jesus, after rising from the grave, brought His disciples together to give them parting instructions. “Gathering them together,” we’re told in Acts 1:4, “He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised.”
What might have happened to Jesus’ followers after He returned to heaven had they not followed His instruction to wait? Would they have disbanded? Scattered? Lost hope? Gone their own way and chased their own pursuits? If we’re too eager to get our feet moving, we may miss the greater work God has for us to do. We might side-step the opportunity to experience His power in and through us.
We have a God who sees the big picture. He had a powerful plan for the disciples — to pour out His own Spirit and to form the incredible community of the Church. God has a powerful plan for our lives, too. Along the timeline of that plan are punctuated seasons of waiting. It is not an idle waiting, but a divine waiting, like that of a caterpillar within its chrysalis, transforming and coming into glory. There is a divine process of growth held within seasons of waiting.
What if we were to dismiss the pace of this world, to step away from the dizzying race to succeed — whether it be in a career, ministry, family, or any other pursuit — and humbly embrace God’s timing?
“Wait for what the Father has promised,” Jesus told the disciples. This command is scattered throughout the Scriptures, and it’s the blueprint for waiting well on God. As we steep ourselves in the promises of His Word, as we wait on what the Father has promised, His Spirit makes known to us His great power. He readies us for what is to come.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Ephesians 3:20 points us to Christ’s sufficiency, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”
Ephesians 1:19-20 assures us with these words, “What is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
His power is readily available to us, and as we wait on His timing, He manifests that power in our hearts. He brings us into a deeper, more intimate knowledge of His work within and through us. May we wait well, following His plan at His pace and in His power, all for His name’s sake.