As the eleven disciples sat in the upper room where they had eaten their last meal with Jesus a silence hung heavy in the air. Each man was trapped with his thoughts of the preceding day and night.
Matthew looked at Peter. “What do you think Jesus wants us to do now?”
Peter looked back. “We can’t do anything. It’s the Sabbath.”
James leaned forward. “Shouldn’t we have fought them off?”
“I tried!” Peter slammed his fist on the table, then he stared at the wall. “Jesus just… put Malchus’s ear back on and said to put the sword away.”
John sat up. “Jesus said He could have called a legion of angels to stop them. This must be what was supposed to happen. But, it doesn’t make any sense. How could Him being dead bring about the kingdom. He’s gone.”
A half hour later Andrew looked at Peter. “So, when do we return to Galilee?”
Peter looked back. “I only know we can’t today. We’re stuck here.”
Andrew leaned forward. “Will we go back to fishing?”
Peter glared at him. “I don’t know. We’re supposed to be fishing for men, whatever that means. I just don’t know!”
Matthew stood. “Do you think they’ll come for us next?”
Peter stared ahead so Andrew answered for him. “The way we all ran I don’t think they see us as a threat.”
Thomas paced by the door. “I only know that as soon as it’s dark I’m going for a walk. I need to get out of here.”
It doesn’t surprise me that the crucifixion of Jesus happened the day before the Jewish Sabbath, the day of mandatory rest. The disciples of Jesus couldn’t leave Jerusalem in their distress. They were forced to stay near the grave of their Rabbi. You and I now know that He was about to appear before them in His resurrected body, but they didn’t have a clue.
Have you ever been in that situation? Feeling like you need to do something, anything, but you could only wait. Wait for what you didn’t know. Your prayers seemed unanswered, but you were actually in the answer: WAIT.
Maybe you’re there now. A real job hasn’t materialized, one that uses the skills and education you’ve acquired, so you take anything you can find just to pay the bills. Your spouse informs you that they want a separation, so they leave and you can only pray for healing and understanding as you carry on alone.
God’s waiting room always seems full. Why? We’re told of God’s blessing if we obey Him, so why does He make us wait to be rewarded bountifully? We’ve sensed His leading in a direction in our life, but the right doors aren’t opening for us, yet. We’ve done all we can to stay healthy, so why can’t the doctors figure out what’s going on?
The disciple who spoke up the most during Jesus’s earthly ministry discovered the answer and wrote it down shortly before he died. Read the book of 2 Peter from beginning to end. It’s a letter about waiting on God. 3:8 is the summary verse: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
The answer to your question focuses on the aspect of perspective. We see things from a timeline perspective: we have only so many days on this earth with only so many hours in a day, so let’s get on with it already! God has an eternal perspective: I have things all planned out in My time, you aren’t quite ready for your assignment so get ready and be ready for when your time comes.
God is too creative to give each lesson the same way. Some can be taught by reading a book. Others can only be lived through. Some will be seen by us as someone else lives through an ordeal. But, every circumstance in our life is meant to be a lesson that will prepare us for our personal assignment, our own cross to bear.
How often have you deliberately taken the time to think about what God is doing in your life? The disciples were in that place on that Saturday with time to think. Think about the past and the future, where they came from and where they were going. Take that assessment in your life soon. I pray God will open your eyes to what He’s doing with you.
You may be right where God wants you at this time. Your life is meaningful and useful. If so then I’m happy for you. I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on everybody by suggesting that God has to use everybody in some dramatic way or your life is less than its meant to be. I’m only suggesting that each life needs time for an inventory.
I’ve worked in a few warehouses and been involved in my share of inventories. Counting the stock on hand gives an indication as to where the company has overloaded on some freight while under ordering others. To conduct a proper inventory the regular business of selling and stocking came to a halt. That’s where the disciples found themselves the day after the crucifixion. That’s what we each need to do sporadically in our lives.
Think about what the death of Jesus means to you and those around you. Perhaps that’s the best place to start. If it hasn’t changed your life then you probably haven’t fully accepted the purpose for Jesus coming to this earth in the first place. The disciples didn’t have a complete summary of what was happening, but we have it all written down for us in the Bible. Take the time to slowly and deliberately read it.
Start there my friend. God will reveal Himself to you in His Word. I promise you that!
I’ll see you later. Wade