• Tom Strode

Pandemic living: Purposeful waiting

Waiting is not foreign to those who belong to God.

Noah waited with his family and a boatload of animals. Abraham and Sarah waited. Joseph waited. Moses waited. God’s people waited for the promised Messiah. Early Christians waited after Christ’s ascension for the baptism of the Spirit. Many others have waited. And we -- and all creation -- wait now for Christ’s return.

Always, the waiting is purposeful. A reason exists that may be known only at the end of the wait – and maybe not even then.

So it is for us. We wait during the stay-at-home and social distancing policies set in motion in response to the coronavirus. At times, the wait is boring or frustrating. It may seem pointless, but it’s never pointless for the child of God.

Have you found yourself during this protracted isolation questioning its purpose in your life or, more precisely, what God’s purpose is for you during this time?

Here are what I believe we can say are some of the providential purposes for this mandated wait:

-- To glorify God. God’s glory is our ultimate reason for living, and this includes when we are stuck inside our four walls. (I Corinthians 10:31)

-- To be conformed more into Christ’s image. This season may provide the platform God has designed to shape us in a specific way into the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)

-- To rest in Jesus. We may find a renewed realization in our isolation and fatigue that we will find true rest for our souls only in the One who is “gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

-- To love our neighbor. This begins at home. Our spouse is our neighbor. Our children are our neighbors. Our neighbors are our neighbors. (Matthew 22:37-40)

-- To display the fruit of the Spirit. By God’s grace, we have an opportunity to demonstrate to others during a trying time the beauty of a Spirit-permeated life. (Galatians 5:22-23)

-- To encourage the saints. We all – some in particular -- could use some encouragement at a time when we have been separated from one another for nearly two months. (I Thessalonians 5:11)

-- To be ambassadors for Christ. We may have unsaved friends who are more open in this season to a word of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:20-21)

May we wait and pray as those with reasons for joy and confidence in an unsettling time.

-- Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash


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