Preparations have been made, hearts are ready, let us celebrate the day of the Lord! Over the past month, we have fasted, feasted and set our hearts on a pilgrimage to seek the Lord. We have been looking forward to celebrating a glorious day. It is the greatest day in the history of mankind. On the third day, the breath of life returned back into the body of the Son of Man, raising Him from death to life, signifying the work of the cross and the work of the grave was finished. Mankind, now through Jesus has the right, the privilege, and the opportunity, once again to walk and abide in the presence of our Holy God. Praise His name! Every year tradition has us celebrating the day the world calls Easter, but we who believe know it as the day of the resurrection of our Lord. So today here we are, that festive day has come and past, the merriment, and activities have died down and I’m left asking this one question…What now?
If ever there was a whisper of the voice of a prophet in me, it most surely is now. Like the beating of a drum, these words echo with resolve out of the recesses of my spirit. The heavenly answer to my question “What now?” is:
“Now we wait!”
Now we wait? What does it mean to wait?
Waiting can be a demonstration of faith because even though you don’t know what will happen next, the very act of waiting expresses a desire that something, in fact, will come. Though expressed differently, waiting and hoping are -at the very least- first cousins. The Biblical definition of hope is joyful anticipation of good. So we wait because we expect something good. As well, the words trust and rest and expectation should also be holding hands in this circle of faith. This faith allows us to turn our head toward an ancient east wind blowing out of Jerusalem to listen to the voice of the disciples as they whisper these same words: “Now we wait!” The words of their Messiah rang true in spirit as they remembered what Jesus had told them,
‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’
For forty days Jesus had appeared to His followers giving them many convincing proofs that He indeed was alive. Jesus had disappeared into the clouds and now the disciples were trudging inquisitively back to gather together in Jerusalem. Jesus had commanded them, “Wait for the promise.” They really didn’t know or understand what exactly they waited for. How could they? This new and glorious gift had never been seen or done before in this manner. Still, by faith, they waited. Faith created an expectancy and anticipation in their hearts. If the past three years had taught them anything, it was simply to trust in what Jesus says and don’t try to bring their own understanding into the equation. Experience had taught them no matter what they expected or whatever happened, it was going to be far greater than they could ever imagine. Love now commanded their heart. Experience had taught them to trust. Faith was the fuel for hope that burned fervently inside them. That hope produced a heartfelt expectation that good things were coming! With a resolve as certain as words etched into stone, each were waiting and proclaiming, “Yes…God is good!” And God was good. And God is good. And God will always be good!
As sure as the sunrise, the promise came like wind and fire with unexplainable power and glory, touching the hearts and souls of all who found faith in waiting.
The miracle of this moment turned a group of one hundred twenty who waited into a love struck army of three thousand. These Spirit-filled believers would begin a movement that even to this day would turn the world upside down. Two thousand years later, here we are, actively and expectantly waiting. Just like those extraordinary men and women of old, we really don’t know what is next. We are not sure what we are waiting for, but still, we wait. Our hearts are excited and full of joy. We wait with the excitement of young children on Christmas morning. Our eyes are open and dodging sleep. Our lamps are burning brightly and full to the brim with oil. If the Bridegroom knocks, we are awake and ready to fling open the door, fall on our face and kiss His beautiful feet.
So to answer the burning question in our hearts that is asking “what now?” is this:
“Now we wait!”
I pray you find much joy in the waiting!
“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Ps. 39:7)
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes wait for the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14)
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.” (Isa. 40:31)
“But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (Ro. 8:25)