You’re Not Waiting Alone
My eyelids lift in the dark of my bedroom. The autumn sun still sleeps below the horizon. I grab the phone on my nightstand and skim through the bolded headlines on the screen. Another attack in the middle east. Threats of terrorism. Flooding. Drought. Another shooting. My head hurts, my heart weeps, and I’m tired of waiting.
A notification on my church’s app lifts my mind up in prayer for the saint waiting on a surgery and the other recovering from sickness. Another family walks through sorrow upon sorrow, and I pray God would strengthen them in their grief. My head hurts, my heart weeps, and I’m tired of waiting.
I move out towards my kitchen and the disorder of the night before. Alarms on my phone begin to screech: blood sugar is too low or too high—anything but right. I sigh and begin to prepare the next pump that will enable my son to eat and live. And my head hurts, my heart weeps, and I’m tired of waiting.
I know you feel it too. All of us feel the heavy burden of waiting in this world. We’re waiting for our pain to subside, for the infection to disappear, for the doctor to call with good news. We’re waiting for the war to end, for the relationships to heal, for understanding, for justice, for a body that works like it’s supposed to. We wait for parenting to be easier, for the tears to dry up, for the light to shine brighter. We wait for safety, for rest, and we weep for our loved one to come to know the peace and love of God.
Since the bite in the garden, this world hasn’t been as it should be. Beauty becomes obscured by darkness. The good sidles up next to the charred ash of trouble. Romans tells us that all creation waits along with us for this world to be made right:
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
It’s hard to live suspended between realities. It’s hard to know the beauty of hope and redemption ahead while waiting to drink fully of it. The Christian lives in the precarious position of knowing the feast that is to come, yet not when it will arrive. Everyday we wake, we enter another day of waiting. But weary saint, we haven’t been left to wait alone.
When Jesus met together with his disciples at the Passover feast before his death, he told them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” Can you imagine the Son of God eagerly awaiting this meal? With anticipation God himself looked forward to eating and drinking with his disciples, yet Jesus didn’t end there. Why was he anticipating this so? He went on to explain further, saying, “For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15–16).
In the upper room, before his arrest and crucifixion, our Savior ate one more Passover meal and then he told his followers he too would wait. He’d wait to taste the bread in his mouth until his disciples sat back with him—not just the twelve, but you and I, and thousands of others. Christ said he’d wait to drink of the cup until our restored bodies lifted our own glass beside him. He’d wait to celebrate until every one of his sheep was returned to the fold. He’d wait to feast until every tear was wiped from the eyes of his church.
Our God not only took on the sorrows of our world when he took on flesh and walked the earth, but at this very moment he takes on our waiting. Our Sovereign King chooses to delay his feasting and put off his celebration for the day when we’ll partake together. Each time we stand in the pew and drink the cup and eat the bread, we’re reminded our Savior is waiting. While we take the elements and pray for Christ to make us new, build his kingdom, and bring restoration to the world, our Savior abstains from the feast—he’s waiting for us. And that means he’s also waiting with us. With eagerness, he too anticipates the same day you and I long for–the day when all will be made right and the church will join together at the table to celebrate the restoration his death and resurrection accomplished.
Weary saint waiting on the Promised Land, your Savior is waiting, too. He waits with his tired, downcast, hurting, and exhausted children. He waits for the marriage feast to come. Though it feels far off at times, that day will arrive—and in the meantime, our Savior waits with us.