Waiting for God–Is it really worth it?
Does the idea of waiting–I mean really waiting–make you feel uneasy?
Throughout Scripture we are encouraged to wait: Psalm 27:14, Lamentations 3:26, Psalm 37:7, Isaiah 40:31 etc! It’s hard to wait and it can be even harder to understand why God wants us to wait.
In Acts 1, right before Jesus ascends into Heaven, he tells his disciples: “Don’t leave Jerusalem but WAIT for the gift my father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”
Imagine what these Jews, after many years of waiting for a Messiah, must have felt when Jesus (the Messiah) told them, once again, to wait.
That’s just like God, isn’t it? The Jews were slaves for four hundred years, waiting for the wind to blow. Moses spent forty years in the backside of the wilderness of his own life waiting for the wind to blow. And he spent forty more years after they’d gone through the Red Sea, waiting to enter the Promised Land, following, depending on this wind–the pillar of wind; they waited.
In the above scripture, the word for Spirit, in Greek, is pneuma.
The word can be translated: wind, breath, spirit. It’s used to translate the Hebrew word ruach which also means wind, breath, spirit; it is the ruach that hovered over the face of the waters in Genesis, Chapter I, at creation–like the breath that God breathed into Adam when he became a nephesh, a living soul, a spirit, a wind, a human being. It is the ruach that blew over the Red Sea making way for the Israelites to leave slavery and journey to the Promised Land, the wind Ezekiel prophesied to that came and blew on the valley of dry bones. The bones came together and they lived.
Is breath, wind, the life-giving Spirit of God really worth waiting for? Listen to a story Peter once told, and then you decide:
“Seven years ago, I walked to the back gate of our house in California. I had come home really late that night doing something over at the church all day. I always came home that way through the back gate and walked across our back yard into the house. This night I looked in the grass, and there was my favorite blue shirt… and I thought: ‘What the…?”’ So, I went inside, and my wife, Susan, was still awake. I said, ‘Honey, my favorite blue shirt was lying in the grass. What’s the deal with that?’
She said, ‘Oh, I’m glad you found it. I wanted to tell you about that. Today, around about lunchtime, Elizabeth (that’s our daughter) came up to me, (she was about 2-years-old at the time) and she said, “Mommy, when’s Daddy coming home?” I told her, “Honey, he’s got a busy day today, I don’t think he’s going to be home for a long time.”’
And then Elizabeth said, ‘I’ll go wait for Daddy.’ Susan responded, ‘Honey, it’s going to be a long time.’ Elizabeth insisted: ‘But, I want to go wait for Daddy!”’
Susan argued with her, and finally, she said, ‘Okay.’ She watched as Elizabeth toddled over to the dirty clothes pile and pulled out my dirty, favorite blue shirt… She carried it out to the back gate. She wasn’t allowed to go out of the gate, but she was allowed to wait at the gate. She just started looking through the cracks for me. Susan watched her for a while; then she left.
When she came back, Elizabeth was still there, lying on her back holding the shirt staring in the sky. Then she’d get up and look through the crack for a while. Then she’d lie down and stare at the sky, holding the blue shirt. Finally, Susan thinking: “Poor little kid,” made her some snacks and took them out to her.
Elizabeth was surrendering her two-year-old agenda; she must have had a lot of faith in me. And she was yearning for me–longing for me. So, she ate her snacks, stood up, laid down, looked through the cracks. Susan said, ‘Peter, she was out there three or four hours. She only came in because, finally, I made her come in. It was getting dark, and she had to have dinner and go to bed.’
Now, four hours is like a lifetime to a two-year-old. And I didn’t walk through the gate. She didn’t get what she waited for that day. But I did, because I kissed her little cheek that night while she lay there sleeping, and I realized I did! I waited a long time for that kiss.
Do you have any idea how long the Father has been waiting for you? And how intently? So intently, that in the fullness of time, He laid aside his agenda of glory, if you could call it that, and hung on a cross outside of Jerusalem. And in the fullness of time, He sent his Spirit to draw you to himself, and win you to himself.
And in the fullness of time you will go to him, you who were chosen in him before the foundation of the world. Do you know how long that is? According to cosmologists, that’s like 10 billion years. Do you realize how long the Father has been waiting to kiss your cheek, child of God? Could you then not wait an hour for Him?”
This devotional was prepared by Kimberly Weynen, Peter Hiett’s assistant. It was inspired by Peter’s sermon “Waiting for Wind.” To enjoy more about the joy of waiting and how the Father waits for you follow this link: Waiting for Wind