Forty Days, Wait on the Lord, 03Nov
I know my small experience stories of waiting has no weight compared to the disciples plight, but waiting for time to pass or even just waiting on the hermit crab “Christmas” to emerge from his deep underground molting session reminds me about being patient… But what about the enormous waiting on the unknown, what about the disciples waiting for Jesus???
Jesus retreated and THEY WAITED. Jesus was gone for 40 days of fasting retreat in the desert… Did the disciples know if HE would return? Did they fear for Him? Did some drift away? Did some lose hope?
I don’t know how much Jesus told the about His retreat plans, if He told them He was going for short or long times? If He even said anything? Were they worried about Him – both His safety and their situation? I’m not sure the Bible addresses these unknown situations of the disciples fears, some passages do say that Jesus quite often went out to pray alone. I do know Jesus foretold the disciples about His death too but that many times the disciple’s ears were not open… why was that? How did Jesus tell them to not worry? Surely they worried. Humanely they worried.
What did the disciples process about their situation when they were in such a tricky spot?… as they left their families and their livelihood to follow Jesus, what fear did they also carry? What unknowns did they experience? Thankfully they were often able to be with Jesus those many times when He chose quiet prayer. And the disciples even asked Him to teach them how to pray.
How do we process our discipleship as well? How do we pray about each day for ourselves and for others? and for the whole world? AND how do we pray about our own discipleship?… See, we know “the rest of the story”… We know of many of the events of Jesus retreating and returning… unlike the disciples, we already know of Jesus dying and resurrecting, and of His second coming, even if it hasn’t happened yet. We have been gifted the scriptures to instruct us. We have been instructed to pray, be still and keep moving.
40 days… Mountain top times… even short stints of prayer… Even sleeping in a boat during a storm… Jesus needed to rest and retreat… Jesus in His humanness had to process all the human temptations and sufferings by experiencing them… Plus, Jesus knew the end of the story, He had to pre-process as knew He would be taken thru crucifixion after only such a short window of time to teach… He also shared witness of His Father’s suffering – that we here on earth are lost sheep… with so many more lost sheep yet to be born. God weeps for His lost children.
Jesus had to endure so much, so that we would know that He has suffered as much and more than we will ever suffer.
Jesus had to see it, feel it, and still work thru it…
How did his early disciples wait? They were instructed to pray and to move out thru the world.
The disciples – both His closest and His curious onlooker crowds, what did they do when Jesus was away?… Did they know when they would see Him again?
How did they get thru those three days of hiding after Jesus brutal death…
How were the women who went to tend to his dead body in the tomb able to keep moving?… Duty as well as divine courage, enabling God to reveal the resurrection. They did not know what we know. We know the rest of the story…
We know it was part of the divine plan, Jesus wants to bring us home.
The Bible has told us Jesus is coming back at a time point that He doesn’t even know. Do we relax knowing He’s coming? No. Or do we work knowing EVERY DAY that we must pick up our crosses and continue to walk with the Lord. We must look, we must move, we must retreat to pray for guidance…
We must wait… We wait on the Lord…
And we pray…
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standingin the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.