Experience - Day 2

Acts 1:4-5 NLT

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

It’s interesting how many times were told that Jesus ate with his followers after the resurrection. The authors were fighting back against the idea that Jesus’ body wasn’t resurrected because many believed the body was bad. So the authors had to make sure their audiences knew that Jesus was resurrected, mind, body, and soul, and that His resurrection is complete and transformative.

But then the disciples had to “wait” in Jerusalem until they received the “gift” of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t know exactly how they were going to receive this gift, nor did they know exactly when it was going to come. The New Living Translation says, “in just a few days,” but a more accurate translation would be, “not many days from now.” Either way, it wasn’t a set day, it was just, “Sometime soon.”

Have you ever had to wait for a gift you knew was coming? When you’re a kid, it’s pure torture. I can remember at Christmas, my family would always wait until after dinner to open our Christmas presents. That dinner was the absolute SLOWEST dinner in the history of mankind. The adults would talk about literally anything and everything, as if they knew the children would spontaneously combust with anticipation if they just kept talking. And though Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit and given the disciples a list of the things the Spirit would do (read through John 14:15-31, John 15:26-27, John 16: 4-15), they still were not exactly sure how it was going to happen or what it would look like. So they had to wait; wait in the in-between.

In my spiritual journey, waiting is one of the hardest things to do. I’ve often identified with King David’s words in Psalm 27 when he says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!“ (Psalm 27:14 ESV) Why do we need to be strong and take courage? Because waiting is hard.

Yet there is a beauty found in the waiting. We can grow, in the waiting. Our trust in God can be tested, but it can also mature in the waiting. And maybe most important, we are never alone in the waiting even though at times it can feel like it. God is with us in the waiting, and working all things together for good (Romans 8:28). It may take longer than we’d like, the answer may be something unexpected, but God loves us and is always at work toward our good. The question is, do we trust Him in the in-between?

1. Have you ever had to wait, a long time, for an answer from God? If so, did the answer every come and what was it like? If not, have you given up, moved on, or are you still waiting?
2. What kinds of gifts do you think God has given us to help us wait for Him to answer, remembering that His time is not our time, His ways are not our ways?
3. Is there something you’ve been stuck in the in-between over, that you could surrender to God now and try to trust in Him more no matter the outcome?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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