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The Waiting Experiment: This is only the beginning.

I keep thinking about the disciples after Resurrection Day. I’ve heard the story so many times I can tell it to you by heart, but I’ve never really imagined what it must have been like for them… what it would be like to put myself in their place. For me all I have to do is turn the page to find out what happens next, but not them, living it was not about page turning. They didn’t know how the story ends. The weeks after Resurrection were filled mostly with something I do not like to do. In fact I spend a lot of time avoiding it like the plague. This girl does NOT like to wait… in any way… in any fashion. Waiting is well, a waist of time the way I see it. Did the disciples feel like me when it came to all that waiting?

Imagine with me.

The worst thing possible could have happened. We’ve followed him for three years, he was my friend, my leader and now he is dead. I didn’t even stay until the end, but ran with fear when they arrested Him in the garden. I thought I had it all figured out… I thought He was the one. His words were like no one I’ve ever heard before. The power in his words was so… believable. Only now he is dead and the authorities are looking for me. What should I do now? Maybe I should go back home and fish again. It’s the third day and we’re just sitting here. Shouldn’t we do something… go somewhere?  How long until someone realizes we are here? How much longer should we wait? 

The women came running from the tomb today. They say the tomb is empty. Mary saw him in the garden. Could this be true? Is it possible? My mind says no way, but I want to believe it. Still, people don’t get up from death. Someone must have stolen his body. What in the world are the leaders up to now? What should we do now? I wish Jesus would have told us what to do NOW.

We’ve been discussing this all day. Most of us don’t believe it… doubt stands guard over hearts and fear infiltrates every breath taken. The door is locked so that we can be protected from the leaders out to get us. This is bad… really bad. How in the world did I get myself into this? I hear a gasp and look to see what’s happening. And there in the room He stands. My eyes must be playing tricks on me. Is this real, maybe He’s a ghost. He speaks and it sounds like Jesus, looks like Him. The wounds are real and if I reach out I could touch Him. He told us about peace and breathed His Spirit on us. He reminded us to forgive and told us He was sending us out. Then in an instant He’s gone. Now what? Sending us where? What should we do and where should we go? 

It’s been days since we’ve seen him. He proved himself to Thomas, but what now? I can’t stand the waiting much longer. Are we supposed to just sit around?  I wish he would show up just one more time and tell us what to do.  I can’t stand to look at these four walls much longer… I have to do something, anything. Maybe I’ll go fishing.

The disciples weren’t super humans. They had no special powers or magic glasses to see into the future. They had no idea when Jesus would show up… if he would show up. Many of them did go fishing and there on the banks Jesus shows up. He tells them to go to Jerusalem and wait some more. I’m convinced there was more waiting during the Easter season than anything else and honestly it makes me cringe.

I mean who likes to wait. Waiting is an enemy that steals my time and joy. I look for the shortest line at the grocery, the traffic lane with the least amount of cars. E-mails and text messages are sent and instant responses expected. I noticed recently a clock inside the window of the fast food drive through. A constant reminder to the employees on how long I wait for my food. It read– one minute thirty-two seconds. I’ve become an expert on NOT waiting and the whole wide world is helping me perfect my skills.

I’m not sure this is an expertise worth boasting about. Yes, I can live more efficiently… get more done. But what’s the cost? What have I missed in my no waiting mind set? What would life be like if I chose to wait, even expected it? I feel an experiment of sorts coming on, and telling it seems a bit weird. I’m learning spiritual growth happens when I put action to those things God is teaching me. For the next few days, well until Pentecost that is, I am going to choose to wait more. Just typing it leaves me shuddering a little bit… makes me a little weak in the knees. How will everything get done? What do I do when I’m waiting?

Yes, this feels crazy and maybe it is, but what’s the risk really? Jesus showed up right in the middle of waiting disciples. Maybe He will in mine too. I keep thinking about the gift that trumped all gifts given on Pentecost. Holy Spirit coming to reside in the hearts of man. Not just the disciples, but me too. Maybe that’s the point. Learning to live a life in the Spirit takes waiting skills I don’t have yet, but I want them. I want to hear Him more clearly, follow without hesitation and love like Jesus does.

I told a loved one just the other day, “Delight yourself in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I told him I believe when we soak ourselves in the delight of Jesus two things happen– our hearts change and our desires are given. So here’s to soaking in a big ole tub of waiting. Oh my word!

How in the world do I delight in waiting? My mind is flipping upside down just thinking about it. This is gonna get interesting y’all!

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