FIRST-PERSON: What are you waiting for?
On August 16, 2016, a military procession brought the remains of Corporal Ronald Sparks to Cambridge (Mass.) City Hall. Family, friends, veterans, local government officials, fire fighters, police officers, a sizable contingent of the Korean community, and a throng of patriotic supporters had gathered to honor the memory of the city's native son and long-lost fallen soldier.
Waiting is a way of life. In our day-to-day existence we wait for so many things. In Samuel Beckett's well-known existential play "Waiting for Godot," two characters wait for the mysterious Godot, who never shows up. The play makes us ask ourselves, what are we waiting for in this life? Are you waiting for graduation, career, marriage, house, children, retirement, etc.?
All these things will eventually fade away. Doesn't it make sense then to wait for something that is eternal? At the return of the Lord Jesus, He will take His church, the family of God, to be with Him in a loving relationship forever. Since our Lord and His angels promised that this will happen, it is worth waiting in faith for its fulfillment.
Why does God want us to wait? What is the spiritual benefit of waiting? Oswald Chambers in "My Utmost for His Highest" writes: "The time of waiting may come to teach you the meaning of sanctification -- to be set apart from sin and made holy -- or it may come after the process of sanctification has begun to teach you what service means." Waiting for Christ allows us to grow in spiritual maturity.
While we wait, we are called to work patiently, watch for the signs of His impending return, and witness to the world's lost through ministry and missions. "Behold, I am coming soon," Jesus proclaimed. One day that promise will be fulfilled and we will have to give an account of our lives. What a glorious day it shall be for those who wait patiently and prepare diligently for that appointed hour! So until Christ returns, let us wait without being spiritually lazy and complacent.
And let us not forget that we are merely strangers and pilgrims on this earth. We are citizens of heaven. Just as the body of Cpl. Ron Sparks finally made its way home to Cambridge, Mass., when Christ returns, we will finally get to go home. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!