I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but waiting is normal. Whoever said the best things come to those who wait was right. They do. Walk with me through the hallowed halls of great people in God’s Story, the Bible. These were real people who lived real lives. You must not forget that as you hear their stories.
God told Noah to build an ark when it had never rained. Depending on which Bible scholar you talk to, it took either 100 or 120 years to build.
God called Abraham to leave the comforts of home in Mesopotamia and move to the uncharted territory of Palestine. When he was 70, God promised him he would have a son. Isaac was born 30 years later.
As a teenager Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery in Potiphar’s house. When he wouldn’t give in to Potiphar’s wife’s advances, he was unjustly imprisoned. Around the age of 30, after 13 years of being a slave and prisoner, Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt.
God saved baby Moses out of the Red Sea, put him in Pharaoh’s house, and at the age of 80–after Moses had lived as a fugitive for 40 years for murdering an Egyptian who was abusing a fellow Israelite–God called him to go to Egypt and lead his people out.
The prophet Samuel anointed David, a young lad (10-13 years old) king of Israel. David immediately returned to the life of a shepherd. Five years later David travels to the battlefield to take his brothers food, encounters Goliath and slays him. Five years after that, David becomes the armor bearer to King Saul. Then Saul becomes angry, banishes David from his presence and begins to pursue him. David ran from Saul until he was 30 years old. Anointed king as a ten-year old–reigns 20 years later.
There are more accounts, more doors we could walk through in this hallowed hall of the people God used in Scripture. But there is one last door we must open, one last person we must meet.
He was born to a virgin named Mary with a surrogate father named Joseph. His name was Jesus, he was God in human flesh. The only insight we have into his young life is provided by Luke, who records him at the temple two times: when he was 8 days old and when he was 10 years old. Then…
Silence. Not a word. God in human flesh, walking around on planet earth. Silence. Waiting.
For what. A public ministry that is memorialized even today. Walking on water. Giving sight to the blind. Raising the lame. Preaching remarkable sermons. Ninety percent of Jesus’ life was lived in obscurity, ten percent in plain view.
But it was six hours one Friday that made all the difference.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5, ESV)
All of creation waited for this one moment, all of future creation looks back on this moment. When the fullness of time had come. Then three days. Three long days where Mary and Mary Magdalene thought all hope was lost.
Mary’s son and Mary Magdalene’s Savior lay dead.
Peter gave up. The disciples returned to their homes…defeated and deflated. Three days. Three long, harrowing days. You know the rest of the story. Up from the grave he arose!
I cannot pretend to know all that God is teaching us through all of this. However I do know this: waiting is more normal than not.