A student finishes up schoolwork while waiting for the joyful liberation of “recess.” A child finishes dinner while waiting to feast on the enticing dessert just a countertop away. A young couple prepares for parenthood while waiting the arrival of their newborn child.
No matter where we are in life, no matter who we are, we’re all doing a little bit (or a lot) of
w a i t i n g .
But what happens if we decide to quit at any point before acquiring the object for which we wait? The student misses out on recess. The child no longer gets dessert. The couple loses out on one of the greatest joys they could possibly know.
Quitters don’t win.
Our society operates around this concept. But inevitably, there are those who choose to quit anyways – even though it will make every second between the waiting and the quitting WORTHLESS, even though they KNOW they will lose out in the end.
Why? What causes us to even consider quitting when we’ve already invested time into waiting?
The fear of missing out, the fear of time wasted, the fear foolishness and poor decision-making, the fear of letting others down, the fear of not being able to hold out to the end, the fear of appearing weak.
Whatever the fear, it’s real enough to make many of us quit.
We quit jobs, we quit pursuing our dreams, we quit hoping, we quit remembering, we quit trying to make a difference. All because we’re scared.
The Apostle Luke wrote this, speaking of Jesus:
He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” | Acts 1:3-5
The disciples were ordered against departure and ordered to wait on God.
Jesus stated that the waiting wouldn’t be long, and yet, He felt the need to order these men in such a way. Perhaps because He knew fear was camping out on the edge of their lives, waiting for the slightest thought, the slightest worry, upon which to pounce. Jesus had just accomplished the impossible: He rose from the dead. Would they really need to be compelled in such a way?
How many times have we seen the miraculous works of our God throughout our lives, only to be hesitant to obey Him, hesitant to trust Him?
The disciples’ response:
Then they returned to Jerusalem… And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying… All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. | Acts 1:12-14
Obedience. Faith. Unity. Prayer.
This is how they waited. Fear had no opportunity to pounce because these Christ-followers came together and approached the throne of grace with fervor.
Y’all, fear was incapacitated here.
The disciples were commanded not to depart, not to give up, not to forget the wonders they had witnessed firsthand. They were commanded to wait for something better, the fulfillment of a promise. They were not quitters.
Had they quit waiting, they would have missed out on receiving the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Comforter. Had they allowed fear to displace what they knew of the faithfulness and awesome power of our God, they would have suffered an unimaginable loss – a loss they wouldn’t even understand the depths of.
Christ has given us the same command, friends. May we never depart from His Word, His teaching. May we always wait expectantly for His promise.
One day, Christ will return. And on that day, He will take all those who trusted in Him to Heaven, our new Home, to be with Him for all eternity.