Wait time is not my favorite topic. Recently, we learned what a pandemic felt like. Consequently, our schools and businesses closed. Life changed, and we waited for it all to end. The school where I worked closed permanently. I shared about it here. Then, I began waiting for a new assignment from God. Just like Little Pot had to do in the story of The Little Pot, I waited for something new.
Understanding the Concept of Wait Time
Teachers are often encouraged to establish “wait time” in the classroom. Wait time is the seconds or minutes of pause after a question is asked. This period of silence is sometimes challenging for the teacher not to continue talking. With young students, it can be a challenge to keep them focused on the topic. However, the strategy is meant to make the listeners uncomfortable enough that they are forced to answer or participate in the learning. Therefore, I want to explore this concept from the perspective that God, the master teacher, exhibits wait time in the classroom of life.
Jesus as the Master Teacher and His Use of Wait Time.
Christ said, “It Is Finished.” However, three days after He spoke those words, He rose from the dead. And the followers of Jesus had their faith restored. Once they accepted His resurrection, they quickly became re-focused on Jesus, fixing their desire for Israel. In Acts 1:6, they ask Him. “Will you now restore Israel”? Jesus answers (vs. 7), “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has set.” I resonate with the concept that as soon as they have Jesus back, they begin to ask Him how He will accomplish their immediate needs. However, his answer is different from the answer they (or I) want after waiting.
Staring at the Sky.
Once Jesus answers his students with, “It is not for you to know,” He ascends into the clouds. The followers are left staring into Heaven. Do you wonder how long they stood there? Jesus had already told them their next steps. They would receive power and then be a witness of Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, and the ends of the earth. But the followers of Jesus were not sure how that would unfold. They had just seen him miraculously ascend into Heaven. So, they stood staring at the clouds. I imagine so many questions were going through their minds. This “Wait-time” continued until two men in white robes appeared and asked them why they continued staring at the sky. The men explained that Jesus would return. Essentially, they were saying, “What are you waiting for?” Jesus did not tell them to stay there. Jesus told them to Go!
Applying Wait Time in Your Everyday Life.
Ironically, even though I have the same command in my life, I find myself just standing still. I need so much more information before I can begin to move. For instance, I do not know what to do next. Some days the possibilities are so many I do not know which to tackle. On other days the options seem so few that I need to wait until something else comes along. Either way, I am just like those men and women standing there staring at the sky. The wait time Jesus puts in our lives is meant to grow, not immobilize us. We become uncomfortable and are forced to participate in the conversation.
How do we go and wait simultaneously?
Jesus told His followers to go. Yet they still were waiting. How do we go and wait simultaneously? The following few verses of Acts 1 explain what we should do while waiting for what will come.
- They returned to Jerusalem to the upper room, where they met with Jesus before and after His resurrection (vs. 12). Likewise, we should return to where we met Jesus. I have revisited Bible verses where He spoke to me, studied journal entries where we discussed previous events in my life, and reread favorite books that greatly impacted my spiritual growth. (See below)
- Secondly, they devoted themselves to prayer (vs. 14). I am committing extra time to pray. I am searching scriptures to hear God speak and continue conversing with Him.
- Thirdly, they continued to trust Jesus to provide (vs. 20-26). The disciples needed a person to replace Judas. They prayerfully asked Jesus to choose as they cast lots. As I look at new opportunities and consider various choices, I must also trust that God reveals the right path for me.
Wait time is essential.
If good teachers know that wait time in the classroom is critical, how much more essential is it for God in growing our relationship with Him? Is there something you are waiting on God for? Have you considered that the wait time is intentional on His part and serves a better purpose than whatever you’re waiting for?
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Wait Time is Required When Growing the Fruit of the Spirit.
Little Pot is a character in the children’s books about the potter and the different vessels he creates. It is a vessel that holds many different items for the potter. As it does, it tries to discover its purpose. Eventually, Little Pot learns it is a fruit pot and can grow fruit for the potter. Little Pot’s process to grow strawberries mirrors how the Holy Spirit produces His fruit through us. Sign up with your first name and email below, and I’ll send you a FREE Bible study explaining each step. Additionally, you’ll receive a fruitful Friday email from Little Pot.