Waiting for Redemption
Most of us hate to wait. But some circumstances make it feel unbearable. When we are accused and hunger for vindication–we hate to wait. When we are sitting with a loved one whose hours on earth are near an end and are suffering–we hate to wait. When our kids have spiked a fever and look to us for comfort we cannot provide, we hate to wait.
Redemption is like that. We live on the promise of resurrection, a heaven where there is no pain, crying, grief, or distance. On resurrection Sunday, the disciples saw Jesus, and it rocked their world. Still, they would wait because redemption was both now and later. The “later” was so hard to delay, and with each passing year, their hunger for Jesus’ return grew. They wanted redemption, just as the creation longed for it.
Every Easter, we stand between the “now” and “not yet” of Jesus’ redemption. We belong to Him, and His forgiveness has cleansed us, freed from accusation, and He has adopted us as His children. Yet, with war, crisis, betrayal, disappointment, disease, catastrophe, and failure, we long to see redemption completed in us and in our world. Paul describes that yearning as if in the pangs of childbirth. Peter encourages the early church with the reality of God’s working even in our suffering. John envisioned the glory of seeing the throne of Heaven and the resurrected Jesus again.
But Peter gives us this comfort–our waiting is a function of God’s patience with people. Those we pray for, those we tell the Good News, those on our hearts and in need–our longing is for their sake. So the next time you find yourself frustrated, think of someone that God has laid on your heart, someone who has never moved beyond religion to a relationship with Jesus and all the relief that is composed in that change. Will you wait and persevere because God is waiting for them?