12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,
“‘May his camp become desolate,
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
“‘Let another take his office.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright (c)2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. http://www.esv.org
Waiting often feels like the least productive thing to do. When we need a job, we don’t want someone to tell us to be patient with the process. We just want a job. When we don’t feel well, we don’t want to wait for all the tests to come back. We just want a diagnosis. When we love someone, we don’t want months or years of uncertainty. We just want to know: Is this the one? When we text someone, we don’t want to wait five minutes for a reply. WHY MUST WE WAIT? When we read the Scriptures, it becomes obvious: waiting is one of God’s favorite tools in conforming us to His image. Adam waits for Eve. Noah waits for the waters to recede. Abraham waits for the child of promise. Joseph waits for his opportunities (and his brothers). David waits to become king. Israel waits for the Messiah. Jesus waits most of his life for his public ministry to begin. The disciples wait for the Holy Spirit to be poured out. By God’s grace, waiting reminds us of who we are and who we’re not. We are not God, and waiting forces us to decide whether we will respond to uncertainty by leaning on our own understanding or by trusting in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Life is a waiting room. We’re all in there for ourselves or someone else. We all have our questions, and we all grapple with the reality that we don’t have as many answers as we would like. What will we do? Will we focus on ourselves and our questions, or will we focus on the Lord’s presence and provision? Charles Spurgeon describes the Lord as the one “whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail.” Something changes in our waiting when we start to see that God has inexhaustible power, unending love, constant kindness, and unfailing faithfulness. After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples are waiting well. They spend time together praying and discussing what the Lord is doing. They do the work that God has entrusted to them (filling a vacant leadership position). But more than anything, they simply wait, trusting that the Lord will be faithful to fulfill His promises. For what are you waiting in this season? Even more importantly, how are you waiting for it? What would it look like to wait in a way that glorifies the Lord?