LEARNING TO WAIT DURING THIS PANDEMIC

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LEARNING TO WAIT DURING THIS PANDEMIC

by Archbishop (Emeritus) Stefan Soroka

Our daily life has suffered many major disruptions as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. You and I have been challenged to be patient and to wait. For most of us, it is hard to wait.  It is hard to wait in traffic. It is hard to wait in line at a check-out counter.  It is hard to wait for a vaccine to be developed. The longer we wait, the worse we tend to worry.

Recall that the Risen Christ asked the apostles to wait after His ascension.   Jesus knew that the apostles could not fulfill their work alone.  They needed the presence of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the work of the kingdom.  The Holy Spirit would encourage, instruct, guide, and comfort them in their earthly ministry.  They needed to wait.  Why wait?  There is a lesson for you and for me in what happened to them while they waited.

Perhaps the apostles needed to wait so that they could learn some obedience.  They needed to learn to prepare themselves in listening to God’s plan for them.

The passage of time would also help to prepare the apostles’ hearts.  They needed time to heal from their failures.  They needed time to draw together.  There is a special fellowship that develops among those who wait.

Waiting increases anxiety.  Jesus knows this and calls the apostles and us to move beyond anxiety to trust, to grow in faith.  If things do not seem to work out the way we expected, perhaps it is an opportunity to find God’s plan in our life.

Waiting can be fruitful.  If our lives belong to God, we do not become frustrated when our plans do not work out.  If time belongs to God, we are not angered when things get rearranged in life. We come to realize that our ‘to-do’ list may not match God’s assignment list.  God is more interested in obedience, in quiet hope, in a prepared soul, than He is in our accomplishments.

The apostles had to wait.  Not for ten minutes.  Not for ten hours.  They will wait for ten days.  They did not know how long they would have to wait.  While they waited, they struggled with their desires to get started in their earthly ministry.  They argued whether they heard Jesus accurately.  They struggled to encourage each other, to keep from quitting and returning home.

While waiting, the apostles learned to pray like they had never had to pray before.  They learned to depend on one another.  They learned to use their faith.  In the absence of the physical presence of Jesus, they allowed their faith in his world to grow.

They waited and they became the men that Jesus knew they could be.  They became a Church.

Just wait!  Imagine what can happen to you and to me beyond the challenge of this pandemic.

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