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The Joy of Waiting

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews. John 20:19a

One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to take students away on residential trips. Those few days in a remote location without the pressures of academic achievement and progress, give me the chance to get to know my students as individuals through conversation relating to their interests, hobbies and dreams for the future. Whilst this element of a school trip is a joy, the part I rarely look forward to is the journey. Both there and back, as no matter how long or short the journey, is, I am guaranteed to be asked one question at least five times… “are we there yet!” I totally get it, in a time where we rarely wait for anything, the concept of travelling to an unknown location on an unknown route can be unnerving for any individual, let alone a 12-year-old. At a time where information is literally at our fingertips, it is no surprise that the idea of having to wait more than 5 minutes to reach a goal our outcome can provide us with discomfort.

Easter Saturday was a day of waiting for Jesus’ disciples. They had just witnessed his crucifixion and were now in a state of fear as they thought they may be next. Jesus, of course, had repeatedly told His disciples that He was going to be crucified and would rise again three days later, despite this the disciples hid. Isn’t it fascinating that even though they were told what was going to happen, the disciples were waiting in fear? Furthermore, they were not waiting for Christ’s return, but rather an unwanted visit from the Jews. That’s what waiting can do, it can distract you and rather than anticipating with assurance the return of your friend, you end up hiding from his enemies with the worry you will receive the same fate.

I think there is a lot we can learn from the disciples as well as the impatient 12-year-old. As mentioned yesterday, the crucifixion means that Christ’s work is finished and our sins have been atoned for, that’s why unlike the disciples we don’t wait for Easter Sunday in fear, but with an assurance and joy as we know how the story ends. Well, that’s the case on Good Friday to Easter Sunday, however, if we are honest with ourselves is this the reality of our daily Christian lives? Do we live out our Christianity like the 12-year-old on the coach and like the disciples who went into hiding? Does waiting cause us to fear, to repeatedly ask questions, forget the original plan and most importantly forget who God is? Or, are we a confident believer in Jesus, who understands that waiting ought to be done with joy and hope, which enjoys the journey, learns on the journey and believes in God’s time the destination will be reached?

An interesting fact about the story of the 12-year-old on the school trip is that the driver never asks, “are we there yet” and neither do the people who have been to the location before. In life, God is the driver and those around us represent the people have been already been to the location. As long as God knows your destiny and you are surrounded by people who can help you along your journey then you don’t need to ask “are we there yet” and you can just enjoy the ride.

I’m not sure what you are waiting on God for. Maybe it is for Him to manifest His presence in your life, perhaps your waiting for a job, a partner, a child or a house. Maybe it’s healing, or for restoration in your marriage or for a loved one to come to faith. It could be anything. My encouragement for you today is to wait with confidence, knowing that because He got up, in His time He will bring your waiting to an end. Wait with certainty, wait in anticipation and wait with a Praise!