“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”1 Peter 5:6-7
Let’s be honest…I have a bad habit. More often than I care to admit, I have found myself being impatient. Not with people, but in situations—situations that range from the simple to the complex, from the routine to the unique. Regardless of the type, I find myself overthinking the situation, playing out different scenarios, and eager to take the next step sooner rather than later. Since we are being honest, I imagine I am not the only one either, right? Whether we are expecting a potentially life-altering phone call from the doctor or simply ready for the weekend, many of us just don’t like waiting.
While Jesus was in Caesarea Philippi, He specifically asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Peter correctly answered that Jesus is the Messiah, Son of the living God, not John the Baptist, Elijah, or another prophet as others believed. Seeing that the disciples were beginning to fully understand His identity and character, Jesus foretold of His future suffering, death, and resurrection on the third day. While Peter privately admonished Jesus for what He said at the time, some disciples may have also found themselves in C.S. Lewis’s classic trilemma over the course of His ministry—was Jesus lunatic, liar, or Lord? John 2:22 tells us that: “After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”
I cannot imagine the feeling some of the disciples may have experienced the three days following the crucifixion. Everything—literally everything they believed—was riding on those three days. How anxious some may have been waiting in that situation—reflecting on their previous years with Jesus, anticipating what their future ministries may or may not look like, and whether the promise of His return will hold true. Ultimately it did. Jesus appeared to His disciples, delivered the Great Commission, and declared His continued presence.
Nearly twelve years ago, my wife and I had a plan for what our future would look like. We were quickly reminded that our plans are not always the same as God’s. Instead, for the last five years we experienced the same trials, heartaches, and loss shared with so many others. Although discouraged, we wholeheartedly believed God had more for our young family than an only child, and this past September, we were blessed with twin girls. Truly more than an answered prayer that was in His timing, not ours.
Let this serve as a reminder that although we are not promised our desires will be fulfilled, Jesus did promise His disciples of His return on the third day. Whether it is three days, three months, or three years, this promise should make our waiting easier because our hope is in Him and not our uncertain circumstances.