What are you like at waiting for things? If you’ve read or watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory you will be familiar with Veruca Salt and her constant use of the phrase ‘I want it now’.
While she makes all of us cringe, deep down we have to wonder if we are really any different to her?
As we approach Pentecost Sunday, I have been thinking about Jesus’ words just before he ascended to heaven.
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1.4-5)
Why did they have to wait? Why didn’t God give them the Spirit that day so that they could receive the help, guidance and equipping that they needed now that Jesus was gone.
In the end they waited around 10 days before the Spirit was given. (Jesus ascended 40 days after he died on the cross (Acts 1.3) and Pentecost is 50 days after Passover).
So why did they have to wait?
Why do we have to wait?
Over the years I’ve known many Christians who complained (including me!) that God hasn’t answered their prayer.
We want God to answer us and we want it now!
Sometimes God says wait? Why is that?
I’m not sure we can give a real answer to that question because we are not God and I’m not sure that the Bible makes the answer clear, but …
I do believe that God’s priority is our growth as people. That we continue to grow to become the people who he made us to be.
I do believe that when a child has everything that they want instantly that they become a spoilt brat.
I do believe that we don’t always know what we need and sometimes I have later been grateful that God didn’t do what I asked him to.
I do believe that sometimes things need to fall into place before the right time. I’ve had a frustrating wait for a meeting I am going to today to do with one of my children’s education. On Monday, one of the people who will be at the meeting met someone who talked them through the approach we need to take and the framework that it will best be received in. Is this why we have had to wait for the meeting?
I do believe that I am not the centre of God’s universe, that God is working his purposes out for everyone and not just me. The day of Pentecost was a significant day in the Jewish calendar and it was a harvest celebration and a time when the Jews remembered the giving of the 10 commandments. On the day of Pentecost we thank God for his gift of the spirit and his giving of a new way to know him and to live a life in the Spirit, experiencing the presence of God in all that we do.
Sometimes God says wait! Will we still trust him when he does?