Written by Emily Cook of Sutton, ON
Today, everything is about distraction and immediacy. We can catch up with old friends without ever speaking to them, and we can express our emotions in emojis and gifs. We spend hours scrolling, blankly watching the world without really taking part in it. If something isn’t over in less than two minutes, it better have a really cute cat in it. “Patience” is a word that doesn’t seem to exist anymore.
How does this worldview, of immediacy and distraction, fit into God’s way of doing things?
During Easter, people remember the death of Jesus, and His resurrection three days later. Count them: one, two, three days. If that happened today – the Internet would have forgotten about this “Jesus” character by the time the sun rose Sunday!
Imagine for a second being the disciples left behind. Scripture makes it clear the disciples didn’t really understand what Jesus meant when He said He was coming back. So, it would be fair to assume they freaked out a little when he actually died.
Jesus was buried, using expensive perfumes no less, and to go further, when Jesus appeared to the women at His tomb and they returned to tell the other disciples, Luke says they didn’t believe them, “because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:11).
Clearly they did not think Jesus was going to wake up! Even back then – with Jesus so recently with them – the disciples didn’t have patience. Just like us.
It’s a great example of how God works differently from the way we do.
The beautiful thing about the resurrection story is God fulfilled His promise – Jesus returned from the grave, bringing with Him the hope we now all hold onto.
“…and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:21-23).
It’s easy to feel God doesn’t answer prayers, or is unfaithful, in a world where we expect to be gratified by the click of a button. But patience means trust, and trust means having faith – faith in a God who fulfills promises.
Jesus could have easily risen from the grave right after entering it – He’s that powerful – but He didn’t. Instead He waited three days. Maybe the purpose in the waiting is to increase faith – or at the very least, to test it.
It’s time our generation learned some patience, and learned to believe in waiting for the good things of God – in His timing.