Watch and Wait


As I continue to read the final chapters of Unafraid by Francine Rivers, I realize how difficult it must have been for Mary and Jesus’ half-brothers and sisters to watch Him as He went about with His ministry. To witness Jesus’ rejection by the people in His village. To hear what others said about Him. Even to know that Jesus’ own siblings didn’t believe their story must have brought such pain and heartache to Mary.


???????????????????????????????But Jesus was about His Father’s business. He was preaching and teaching and leading a group of people into a deeper understanding of God’s plan and will for their lives. Sometimes they understood. Their hearts were open to the message He shared. And then, at other times they did not understand.


Israel had been watching and waiting for the Messiah for so long, many didn’t recognize Him when He stood before them.


On this side of the cross and resurrection, we’ve also been watching and waiting for a very long time for the Messiah to return. How difficult it is for us to continue to watch, but until Jesus returns, that is exactly what we are to do.


There are a couple of other things we are to do while we watch and wait as well. Let’s look at these passages and see what Jesus wants us to do.


Before Jesus came to live among us the first time, the Israelites were told to “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5 – NIV) We can learn a lesson from our Old Testament friends. While we are watching and waiting for the eastern sky to split, we should be seeing what God is doing around us in our day-to-day lives. God is at work. Let’s not be so focused on what the future will bring to miss Him and to be utterly amazed at His work.


Luke 21:36 (NIV) records the words of Jesus as He spoke to His followers. Jesus knew the future of those He loved. It would be difficult, but Jesus offered them words of encouragement to withstand the difficulties. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Great benefits come to those who spend time in prayer with God. Strength. Courage. Encouragement. Renewed faith. As we find ourselves in difficult times watching for Jesus’ return, let’s not forget to pray.


The apostle Paul spoke fondly of the Church in Ephesus and he loved the leaders of that Church. In his final words with the elders, Paul said, “So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:31 – NIV) Paul encouraged these leaders to remember. Remember what they had been taught by Paul as well as by God’s Spirit. As we watch for Jesus’ return, we too are to remember what we’ve learned through Scripture, through the teachings of our pastors and teachers and what we’ve learned through God’s Spirit.


And finally, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) tell us to “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” While we watch and wait, we encounter people who will try to lead us astray. Some will not believe we are speaking truth. Some might even be cruel. But as we watch for the Son of Man to return, we must remain strong in our faith. We must live holy lives. And we are to love those who persecute or wish us harm.


These are just a few things we are to do as we watch and wait. There is still so much work to be done before Jesus’ return. Sitting idly by is not the plan He has for our lives. I pray that God’s Spirit is prompting you to do something. And I also pray that you are willing to do what you’ve been shown to do.


Watching and waiting is not an easy thing to do. I can’t imagine the anguish Mary had to endure while watching Jesus grow into a man. But what I do believe is that her desire to be faithful to God’s plan was the reason she was chosen to give birth to the Son of God.


Let’s not falter in our desire to be faithful to God’s plan. Let’s allow God to use us to fulfill His plan. And let’s watch and wait with baited breath for the return of Jesus. But let’s not forget to do His work.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



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