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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Patient Waiting

I should be used to waiting. I’ve done so much of it in my lifetime. Waiting at red lights. Waiting at checkouts. Waiting in doctors’ offices. Waiting for payment of articles. Waiting for lunch guests. Waiting for service in restaurants. Waiting for results of medical tests. Waiting for preachers to conclude their sermons. Waiting for slow golfers. The list is almost endless, but I don’t want to make you wait for more examples so I will end it now.
If you think I’m not very patient, you are right, but I’m working on the patience trait. Just yesterday I learned to be more patient when I read in the newspaper that wives and children were reunited with their soldier husbands and fathers at Fort Carson here in Colorado Springs. The soldiers had finally returned from Iraq after a 15-month tour of duty. The long separation must have taxed everyone’s patience beyond measure. The waiting those families endured makes any waiting seem paltry.
So I am going to try to be more patient and find something constructive to do while I wait. I might read a book or harvest some ideas for writing a book. Or I might fill the waiting times with prayer.
After Jesus had risen from the dead, the disciples showed impatience. He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 5). However, they asked whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time (verse 6). He responded by telling them they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (verse 8). Then, He ascended to heaven.
Jesus will return from heaven someday, and our responsibility is to wait for Him, not idly but actively. We should exercise productive patience and ask what the Lord wants us to do today?
And by the way, Jesus will restore the kingdom to Israel someday.

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