"They rested quietly on the Sabbath as commanded." -Luke 23:56 (MSG)
This year, Holy Week surprised me with a lesson in THE WAIT. It amazes me that Jesus' beloved friends simply rested the day after his death. They didn't start on a rampage of revenge, they simply continued to obey in faithfulness.
THE WAIT is what makes this a true love story of God's glory. Jesus knew it all far before the Judas and his whispered betrayal. Yet, he didn't wait in resentment.
He waited IN FAITHFUL ACTION, he waited ON MISSION, he waited IN FEARLESS COMMUNITY, he waited IN PRAYER.
Then, after Jesus spoke the words, "It is finished," God waited. The Holy Father of Jesus didn't rush to revive his only son.
Even though God knew what came next, I know He mourned on this day, the day in between complete darkness and eternal light.
It feels natural to wait in a worldly way, complaining the whole time and wishing away the season you're in.
We crave ACTION so much more than REST, PREPARATION, or GROWTH.
After studying how Jesus waited, it became clear to me that waiting is not about the absence of action, but more the attitude behind it.
I want to look to Jesus, and take some notes from his book on how we should wait. Sitting and tapping our fingers is not going to lead us to where we need to go.
ON FAITHFUL MISSION: Jesus didn't even start his hardcore ministry until he was around 30 years old. Yet, with Jesus being fully God and fully man, I can imagine a tension that existed between knowing the reason for becoming fully man in the first place (a Godly decisionI), and having the desire to forego pain as much as possible (a humanly tendency). It astounds me that he chose to go forward anyway. He stepped out in action toward beginning his ministry and starting the sequence of events that would lead to his betrayal and death.
IN CONSTANT PRAYER: When Jesus performs the first miracle at the Wedding at Cana, he says to Mary, who's prompting him to begin his service by keeping the wine flowing at this wedding, "My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4). This echoes later in John after Palm Sunday when Jesus says, "The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified" (John 12:23). This shows, even before his first miracle, Jesus was in communication with God about timing in consideration of the big picture.
Even more obviously, we see that Jesus was constantly stealing away to pray on his own, he prayed with those he came into contact with, he was clearly in constant conversation with the Lord as he awaited this "hour" of reconciliation.
IN FEARLESS COMMUNITY: I don't know about you, but if I had any sort of prior warning or knowledge of a dear friend of mine betraying me to be tortured and killed, I would run fast in the other direction. If I knew my dear friends would deny me to the public, I would sidestep that backstabber and see about going it on my own. It amazes me that Jesus dove so fearlessly into community even though he knew the sin and betrayal that would take place at his expense. How often is our lack of community associated with self-preservation? Well, I'm waiting in this season before I move somewhere else, so I don't want to get too attached. I don't really have time, and I don't want them to think I'm flaky, so I might as well just not commit to any community right now. What if they don't fully accept me? What if they hurt me? Nah, I'll pass. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus had all the reasons to say no to community. I mean, he's GOD, right? He totally could have traveled on his own, healed more people without having to deal with all of the disciples' what? huh? questioning. Instead, he chose to experience the abundance of community and discipleship even as he was waiting to be hurt and betrayed.
It seems to me that Jesus' life shows us that the waiting is where the good stuff happens. It what makes what we're waiting for matter. It's what shapes us into who we are, and it IS the abundant life, not what we have to trudge through to get there.